‘Roadrunner’ Documentary Strives to Keep Anthony Bourdain’s Legacy Alive

On June 3, audiences got a first look at the upcoming documentary “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.” Directed by Morgan Neville, this documentary will dig into Anthony’s incredible life, the impact he had on people around the world, as well as the struggles he dealt with through it all. It will also include archived and never-before-seen footage, interviews from some of Anthony’s colleagues and friends and it’s even narrated by Bourdain himself. This film is coming a little over three years after he tragically took his own life on June 8, 2018.

In the documentary we see Anthony traveling all over the world eating food and embracing the culture of every country he travelled to. The first line of the trailer is spoken by restaurateur and friend of Anthony, David Chang, “It was almost never about food, it was about Tony learning how to be a better person.” The film will also explore his sudden rise to fame after the release of his bestselling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” in 2000. 

“Roadrunner” doesn’t shy away from addressing Bourdain’s mental health struggles, which sadly is what caused his unexpected death. Bourdain has been open about his history with smoking and drug issues in the past. At one point in the trailer, artist David Choe says, “I know how hard that must have been for him to reach out to someone and be like, ‘Hey man, I’m not doing well.'” His death sparked conversations about mental health, and that what we see on the outside is not always a reflection of what someone could be dealing with. 

Focus Features

Anthony Bourdain was born on June 25, 1956 in New York City. His passion for food started at a young age after eating an oyster for the first time on a family trip. When he got older he attended and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978. He then went on to work in various restaurants in New York City until he eventually became executive chef Brasserie Les Halles in 1998. 

Aside from this, Bourdain was mostly known for his multiple food travel tv shows. The most popular ones were “No Reservations” which ran from 2005-2012 and “Parts Unknown” which ran from 2013 until shortly after his passing in 2018. Both shows were very similar since they both followed Anthony as he went to various places around the world to learn about their cuisine and culture. It was also important for him to educate others about traditional foods from developing countries, that people from privileged countries may criticize.

Bourdain was known for his bold personality that captivated everyone, regardless of whether or not they were a foodie. He never shied away from stating his opinion, criticizing celebrity chefs for not being authentic, and using profanity on his television shows. Bourdain was a vocal advocate against sexual harassment. Towards the end of his life he called out the abuse happening within the restaurant industry as well as the people involved. 

“Roadrunner” will open in theaters on July 16.

By Jada Hart

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