Life Itself is a documentary where we explore Roger Ebert's life. The events that make up his life do not seem extraordinary, however, he took a seemingly regular life and turned it into a voice that could affect an entire industry.
What is most amazing about this documentary is the realization of how much (some) film makers loved this man. That is a side of the story you never hear. I have always heard about a critic giving a film a bad review and in turn the director hates that critic. You rarely hear about how a film critic believes in a film so much that they insist on reviewing it three times on national television; helping establish a filmmakers career. You never hear how a world renowned film critic answers a young film makers request to come watch his movie at Sundance. You would never read about how an honor given from two film critics helped save a great director's life and pull him out of addiction. We get to experience all these great things within this film, and it is heart warming.
Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. We also get to experience the deterioration of Roger Ebert. It can be difficult at times to comprehend what Roger was going through, but you always see him with a sense of determination and motivation that is astounding. I like to think that it was his love for movies (and his family) that kept him going through all the hard times. I just hope that we can all find something that we love as much as this one man loved films in order to keep us going when it seems like we don't have the will.
When watching Life Itself, I realize that talking about movies can be so much more than a pretentious over analyzation of a piece of art. It can create friendships, it can change perspectives, but most importantly it can show us what it means to be human. That's what we learned from Roger Ebert. See you at the movies Roger.