It's remarkable that Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey shared next to nothing about Burden’s upbringing, not to mention the rationale behind the artist' sudden turn from performance art to a more playful, but always sinister, sculptural practice. What makes Burden a compelling viewing experience is the auratic, charismatic, ultimately cryptic nature of the artist himself rather than the directors' prowess.
I am here to tell you that if you are an artist or think you might be an artist or simply spend time or wish to spend time thinking about what it is to be and to do on this planet during yr short visit here (and how growing up enters the equation), then you need to see this phenomenal documentary. I will not say that it changed my life, but it sure put that life in perspective in a way that was totally exhilarating!
Only a cursory view of Chris Burden and his work but that is more than fascinating enough to keep you interested. Some of his work ("Urban Light" and "Metropolis II") can be glimpsed in Malick's Knight of Cups.