Some would say that the writers of this list suffer from mental illness. However, their devoted readers might say that they are more sane than the rest of us. They’ve led unique lives that followed a unique way of viewing the world. Through their writing they shared that view with the public, in some cases clashing with society. Yet they all built up a strong following based on the strength of their ideas and their will.
Each writer is uniquely American. Though they are all popular the world over, their stories could only have happened in a place where the culture of rebellion and the culture of conservatives are constantly at odds like the USA. Most writers are introverts, people who are soft spoken and are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. However, do not mistake introversion for passivity or fear of confrontation. Though most of these men were seldom loud in manner, they were often loud with their ideas. They led wild full lives that are almost mythical in nature and were anything but ordinary.
These five films are great examples of what biographical documentaries should be. They do not blindside the viewer with narrative and instead let the stories develop naturally. They allow these incredible lives to speak for themselves.