Chaz Ebert on Roger's legacy and Life Itself

Roger Ebert applauds his wife, Chaz, before being honored with a sidewalk medallion under the marquee of the Chicago Theatre in 2005. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Roger Ebert applauds his wife, Chaz, before being honored with a sidewalk medallion under the marquee of the Chicago Theatre in 2005. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

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A "warts and all" portrait of iconic film critic Roger Ebert has been preserved in the medium he loved best. A feature documentary film about his legacy, Life Itself, premiered Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival -- and the most important critic in the audience was Ebert's wife and longtime collaborator, Chaz Ebert.


"Roger felt you have to be transparent to make it an authentic experience," she says, explaining that a sanitized film wouldn't have been worth doing. "The thing the touches people's hearts are the gritter parts."

Chaz, the CEO of RogerEbert.com, has played a profound and yet largely unseen role in shaping how we think and talk about movies today. She joins Jian to discuss the digital publishing empire and related movement she built with her late husband, and how she is continuing their work while still grieving.

Roger Ebert on the written word

Jian was honoured to sit down with Roger Ebert in 2011. The Pulitzer Prize winning film critic participated in the interview with the aid of a computer with "text to voice" software. In the video excerpt below, he explains the role writing played in his life after he lost his ability to speak.

(You can also listen to the full 25 minute interview by clicking here.)

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