Watch Life Itself
- 1 hr 56 min
Life Itself is a heartfelt documentary about the life of famed film critic Roger Ebert, based on his memoir of the same name. Directed by Steve James, the film features interviews with Ebert's family, friends, and colleagues, as well as footage from his television show, At the Movies, and his personal life. The documentary begins by exploring Ebert's childhood and love of writing, leading up to his rise as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in the 1960s. From there, the film delves into Ebert's long-standing partnership with Gene Siskel, with whom he co-hosted At the Movies for over two decades. The documentary provides a fascinating look at their onscreen chemistry, as well as the offscreen rivalry that fueled their success. Throughout the film, Ebert's wife, Chaz, plays a pivotal role in telling his story, providing insight into their loving relationship and his indomitable spirit in the face of personal tragedy. The documentary examines Ebert's battle with thyroid cancer and subsequent loss of his jaw and voice, which ultimately did not detract from his passion for film and the art of criticism. Instead, Ebert's life became a test case for the larger themes that he wrote about in his reviews: acceptance, grace, and the transcendent power of cinema. Perhaps most movingly, the film also examines Ebert's relationship with the city of Chicago, his adopted hometown, and the rich cultural tapestry from which he drew inspiration for his life and work. From his early days at the Sun-Times to his role as a champion of independent cinema, Ebert's love for his city is palpable in every frame of the film. Ultimately, Life Itself is a testament to the power of storytelling and the human spirit. Through Ebert's own words and the voices of those who knew him best, the documentary offers a compelling portrait of a man who left an indelible mark on the film world and beyond. Whether you're a longtime fan of Ebert's work or a newcomer to his legacy, this film is both a tribute to and a celebration of an extraordinary life.