CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023


Year: 2014
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 118 minutes


Honoring a legend, LIFE ITSELF celebrates the life and work of the late Roger Ebert. As a young boy growing up in Urbana, Illinois, Ebert fell in love with newspapers. His talented writing and arrogant demeanor would eventually earn him the role of film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, launching a lifelong career that fueled his passion for motion pictures. With detailed excerpts from Ebert’s memoir, the film depicts his rise to fame from one of Chicago’s good-ol’-boys, to one-half of the “Two Thumbs Up” duo of Siskel & Ebert, and recognition as one of the world’s most acclaimed film critics of all time. Colleagues and directors, who were often at the mercy of Ebert’s brutally honest reviews, candidly contribute their heartfelt memories of Ebert and his unforgettable impact on their lives, personally and professionally. The film incorporates footage of a resilient Ebert in his final months of life with his beloved wife Chaz by his side. A moving, well-deserved dedication, LIFE ITSELF pays tribute to Ebert’s lasting legacy on the world of cinema. —A.B.

CIFF41 Screenings

Saturday, April 01, 2017 at 3:40 PM

Recommended for High School Students +

Steve James

Born in Hampton, Virginia in 1954, Steve James is recognized as one of the most acclaimed documentary filmmakers of his generation. He regularly collaborates with the Chicago-based nonprofit production studio Kartemquin Films. His film "Hoop Dreams" was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Film Editing and recently selected for the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

"Stop Substance Abuse" (1986), "Hoop Dreams" (1994), "Prefontaine" (1999), "Stevie" (2002)-27th CIFF, "Reel Paradise" (2005), "At the Death House Door" (2008), "No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson" (2010)-34th CIFF, "The Interrupters" (2011)-35th CIFF, "Head Games" (2012), LIFE ITSELF (2014), "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail" (2016)

Steve James, Zak Piper, Garret Basch

Dana Kupper

Steve James, David E. Simpson

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