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Documentary Series Examines ‘Life Itself’

By Rod Jones

The 18th annual Documentary Film Series at Oklahoma City University will continue at 2 p.m. April 17 with Steve James’ “Life Itself.” The screening is free to the public and will be held in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.

The series is made possible through a gift from the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund.

“Life Itself” is a documentary that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert — a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful and transcendent. Based on the bestselling memoir of the same name, “Life Itself” explores the legacy of Ebert's life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.

A Rolling Stone magazine review stated: “Though ‘Life Itself ’is a warts-and-all portrait Ebert didn't live to review, my guess is his thumbs would be shooting upward. Mine sure are.”

The Documentary Film Series theme is titled “Thing and Spirit Both.” It is based on a poem by Marie Howe, who will visit OCU on Wednesday for this year’s Thatcher Hoffman Smith Poetry Series.

“These films explore how the spirit or essence of the world reveals itself indirectly through our intuition and imagination,” said Harbour Winn, director of OCU’s Center for Interpersonal Study through Film & Literature. “Each of the films presents an imaginative way of seeing through an artist working in a different art form — poetry, film and photography. The art of seeing must be learned to grasp the transformative dimension in everyday reality.”

For more information visit okcfilmlit.org or call 405-208-5472.

The final documentary in the series will be May 1 with Wim Wenders’ “The Salt of the Earth.”

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