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Director Steve James Aimed For "Candid Portrait" Of Roger Ebert In Documentary

(CBS) -- If you missed the documentary about film critic Roger Ebert when it was in the theaters, you have another chance to see it. WBBM's Nancy Harty talked with the director of "Life Itself," which airs on CNN at 8 p.m. Sunday night.

Director Steve James says he didn't have a hard time maintaining his objectivity, despite Ebert's admiration for his previous work because they both wanted the same thing.


"I wouldn't have done the film if I didn't admire Roger, but I also knew that what Roger wanted and what I wanted was an honest and candid portrait," James said.

Sometimes too candid for Chaz Ebert as she watched her husband grapple with the cancer that eventually killed him.

"She was his protector. She had been through this with him for seven, eight years of dealing with this cancer. But even with her, it got to a point as we went along where she understood why that was important," James said.

James, who lives in Oak Park, says he doesn't think they'll be another critic like Ebert because he, along with Gene Siskel, pioneered bringing film criticism to the masses through TV and came of age in a time when movies were growing into the most popular art form for the masses

"Life Itself" comes out on DVD February 17.

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