Per New York Times, six famous directors were asked to choose their favorite films of the 21st century. Along with cinematic heavyweights such as Antoine Fuqua, Denis Villeneuve and Sofia Coppola, Gibney was asked to provide his own list. He noted that his list “includes ‘good movies’ that touched my heart in unexpected ways.”
Given the nature of his documentary themes, it’s no surprise that he chose films dealing with heavy topics. One is Pan’s Labyrinth, a dark fantasy by Guillermo del Toro about a girl growing up in authoritarian Spain in 1944 (via IMDb). The film is about the rise of fascism after the Spanish Civil War, but at its core is the story of a young girl coming to terms with a cruel world. Speaking of Pan’s Labyrinth, Gibney told the Times, “I spent a lot of time thinking about torture. This film takes you deep into the horror of it all and the imagination it takes to live it.” Gibney’s admiration for the film echoes his own explorations of torture and authoritarian regimes such as the award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, Citizen K. and “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”.
Several other interesting films were on the Pertini list, including Michael Clayton, “I am not a black man”, “Big short”, “The elderly is not a place” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”.