A new documentary out today looks at the life and death of chef and travel show host Anthony Bourdain, who died by suicide in 2018. The film Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is from Oscar winning director Morgan Neville, who talked to ABC Audio about why he wanted to explore Bourdain’s life.
“Because I felt like he was a fellow traveler with me,” he explains, adding that, in a way, he felt Bourdain was a documentary filmmaker just like himself.
“He was somebody who was trying to share people’s stories and humanize them and be an advocate for curiosity and open mindedness,” Neville shares.
The director admits that losing Bourdain was sad for him — not just because of losing him as a person, but also because of losing him as “a voice in our culture,” which seems to echo how others felt as well. Neville says he was often greeted with “a heavy sigh” after revealing that he was working on the documentary.
But, he hopes the film “can at least make you see [Bourdain] as a full dimensional, complex and flawed human…maybe that was kind of the goal is like this is a real person who’s got great strengths and weaknesses. And sometimes those are the same things in him.”
Neville also hopes that after watching Roadrunner, audiences realize that “it doesn’t matter if you seemingly have everything, pain is pain and there’s no way around it.”
“And I think understanding that these are humans, that we shouldn’t put them on pedestals and that we really should have love and understanding, because the more you put somebody on a pedestal, the harder it is for them to ask for help,” Neville concludes.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is in theaters now.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.