Roger Ebert Doc 'Life Itself' Debuting on CNN Sunday

Jeff Ruymen/NewsCom

The film from director Steve James premiered at Sundance

An inside look at the life of renowned film critic Roger Ebert will make its television debut on CNN Films this Sunday in the documentary Life Itself directed by Steve James.

The film, which premiered at Sundance, shows Ebert as only those closest knew him, including his early days as a college newspaper editor, Pulitzer Prize winner, role as a husband and grandfather and final days battling cancer. When collaborating with James on the direction of the film, the critic wanted an introspective look at his life, outside of his profession, to be captured.

Read more Life Itself: Sundance Review

“Roger’s vision for the film was clear; he wanted to show the man, not the icon,” Ebert’s wife Chaz Ebert said, adding, “And director Steve James certainly achieved that with this film, warts and all. Roger lived true to his nature. He was compassionate and loved with all his heart. His illness didn’t diminish that one bit. Through the end, Roger’s grit shone through.”

Life Itself will also show the profound influence Ebert’s life had on independent filmmakers, including Werner HerzogErrol Morris and Martin Scorcese.

Ebert was famously known in living rooms across America for discussing and analyzing films alongside co-host Gene Siskel on PBS show Sneak Previews and ABC’s At the Movies. In 2005, Ebert received recognition on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work as a journalist, screenwriter and author, and was the first film critic to receive a star. The film critic died in April 2013 at the age of 70.

Life Itself debuts on Sunday, Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST on CNN Films.

 

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