Roger Ebert Documentary 'Life Itself' Trailer Sheds Light on the Late Critic's Extraordinary Life — VIDEO

In the thirteen months since Roger Ebert passed away, much has been done to honor the legendary film critic's memory. His site,, was revamped to become a major source for movie news, including reviews, commentary, and archives of his work. At Ebertfest, his annual film festival, a statue was commissioned showing the critic sitting in a theater seat, giving his trademark thumbs up. This week, at Cannes, Ebert's favorite festival, there are several events in his honor, including "The Roger Ebert Critics Panel," where many of his colleagues will come together to discuss his lasting influence. Of all the tributes, however, the best by far is Life Itself , a documentary about Ebert's life that premiered its first trailer on Wednesday.

The film, directed by Hoop Dreams ' Steve James and produced by Martin Scorsese, is based on Ebert's bestselling 2011 memoir of the same name. It recounts the critic's extraordinary life, which included partnering with Gene Siskel, writing a cult classic, and winning a Pulitzer Prize. It also follows his years-long battle with the cancer that would eventually take his ability to speak, but, as Ebert's many fans know, not his ability to critique. With the help of his wife, Chaz, who is now Vice President of The Ebert Company and Publisher of Ebert Digital, he continued to publish his must-read reviews right up until his death in April 2013.

Life Itself, now playing at Cannes, premiered at Sundance in January to rave reviews. Critics called it "emotionally debilitating" and "deeply enthralling," saying that it was a fitting tribute to a man who undoubtedly influenced on all of their careers, not to mention the lives of everyone who's ever wondered if a movie's worth seeing. Time and again, Ebert had the answer, and, as the movie shows, a year after his death, his legacy is stronger than ever.

The film opens on July 4. Watch the trailer, below:

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