What will Roger Ebert's legacy be?

Death: "Death does not spoil my lust for life"

It is impossible to capture an entire life in just a few lines. On the other hand, one can subsume Roger Ebert's career, his work and his legacy in a single word, which in its size breaks any frame: love.

Ebert wrote his first film review 46 years ago in the "Chicago Suntimes"; He became a film critic "out of love for cinema, because it is life," as he said.

When the news of his death flooded all social networks, the expressions of sadness from his huge fan base also piled up - and of course also the postings from people who had to emphasize that they had known him personally, had once received an email from him, once to have stood within 20 meters of him.

Even without ever having spoken to Ebert personally, the world knew what he was thinking - especially since the Internet made it possible to read all of his reviews, since he blogged, tweeted and networked with multimedia. Ebert hosted the first television program on film with Gene Siskel, he founded the Ebertfest, a festival for films that he thought deserved more attention, and he wrote the script for the Russ Meyer film Beyond the Valley "for sheer pleasure" of the Dolls ".

Don't be afraid to be amazed

Ebert was the first film critic to receive the Pulitzer Prize in 1975, and writing was "both a torture and a necessity" for him too. Above all, however, Ebert wrote with a love for people that makes him perhaps the most humanistic critic of all time, without arrogance or the will to teach, without knowing better and without denying that you always at least take yourself with you to the cinema.

His trademark "thumbs up" became a barometer for many, and even if his views were only partially shared, his reviews were a benchmark. In terms of journalistic ethics anyway, but also as an indication that the intellect may be deceptive, but feelings never lie.

“I am not afraid of death,” wrote the atheist Ebert on Salon.com in September 2011, “because I was completely content not to exist before I was born - and I believe it will be after my death be." His cancer had broken out again and his lower jaw had to be removed. "I'll be dead sooner than most of the people who read this. But that doesn't diminish my lust for life and my ability to be amazed."

Many film critics often lose this when their work determines their lives and no longer the other way around. Roger Ebert could remind you of that. He had already prepared his departure: The entry "A Leave of Presence" on his website www.rogerebert.com read like a will on April 3rd.