Biopic Documentary Films (360MC CW2 Research)

‘Biopics’ is a term derived from the combination of the words “biography” and “pictures.”

“These films depict and dramatizes the life of an important historical personage (or group) from the past or present era. Sometimes, historical biopics stretch the truth and tell a life story with varying degrees of accuracy”

“…these films put an emphasis on the larger events (wartime, political or social conditions) surrounding the person’s entire life as they rise to fame and glory. Some begin with the person’s childhood, but others concentrate on adult achievements”

Reference – Filmsight (2017) Biopics films [online] available from <; [27 December 2016]

Life Story Biopic – “this type of Biopic gives us the most comprehensive and detailed picture about the person we’re interested in on film. It deals not only with the career and relevant actions of this person that made him/her famous, but also with the early experiences and family structure that formed the hero’s character. Life Story Biopics are rare”

Reference – Froginawell (2009) available from <; [27 December 2016]

“…the biopic is by no means a simple recounting of the facts of someone’s life. It is an attempt to discover biographical truth, in this case gathered through scores of interviews with people who know the person you are documenting”.

“The point is simply this: The biopic is a genuine, dynamic genre and an important one. The biopic narrates, exhibits and celebrates the life of a subject in order to demonstrate, investigate, or question his or her importance in the world; to illuminate the fine points of a personality”.

“The appeal of a biopic lies in seeing an actual person who did something interesting in life, known mostly to the public, transformed into a character”

Reference – Bingham, D. (2010) Whose lives are they anyway? The biopic as contemporary film genre. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press

Some of the most contemporary and well known biopic documentaries are:

  • Amy (Kapadia, 2015)
  • Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (Morgen 2015)
  • The Wolfpack (Moselle 2015)
  • Senna (Kapadia 2010)
  • Man On Wire (Marsh 2008)
  • Twinsters (Futerman, Miyamoto 2015)

kurt-cobain-montage-of-heck-poster.jpg    twinsters_movie_poster.jpg    wolfpack_xlg.jpg


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