This documentary which chronicles the life and death of Harvey Milk won the Oscar in 1984 and it is easy to see why. Unlike most documentaries which try to portray a persons life, The Times of Harvey Milk comes off as something truly special and even epic instead of just seeming like a run of the mill biography.
The reason the documentary comes off as something epic is really just because Harvey Milk's life was an epic and tragic one and so just by presenting his life story in a well made documentary you get to learn and in be in awe of his life.
There really isn't much else to say. If Gus Van Sant is somehow able to not fuck this up then he has the potential to make something special with Milk.