in about 100 words or less
US 121m, Colour
Director: Steve James; Cast: Chaz Ebert, Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Ava DuVernay
Life Itself is a dark, yet celebratory documentary film based on film critic Roger Ebert’s 2011 memoir of the same name. Filmed during the final months of his life, this is a personal and poignant reflection of Ebert’s long and rich career and an examination of his love for the movies. Constructed from a series of interviews with Ebert, his friends, colleagues and family, the film, which was unfinished at the time of his death, becomes a self-reflexive document of not only Ebert’s life, but his death. Amidst this profoundly moving final chapter of Ebert’s last days, Life Itself is also a complex and critical account of Ebert’s personal transformations, which culminate with his extraordinary relationship with his loving wife Chaz, who provides a supporting voice for Ebert throughout much of the film (Klaus Ming June 2015).