How to explain Anthony Bourdain’s legacy? He was more than a celebrity chef. He was a cultural force who trained a generation in a new way of looking at the world with a humble, teachable attitude — ready to say “yes” to any experience and embrace it with curiosity, relish and a lot of swagger. Everyone who talks about “finding yourself” through things like food and travel these days is really just chasing Bourdain’s vibe, although few can do it the spirit, pluck and openness that he did. For a generation in dire need of heroes, Bourdain filled a void that his shocking and tragic passing has done little to dissipate.
Now, Roadrunner aims to explore that legacy through “…the vast catalog of Bourdain’s on-screen work, as well as never-aired moments, home movies and insights from those who knew him best.” Directed by Morgan Neville, who did such a beautiful job with Fred Rogers in Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and gave classic rock’s backup singers a well-deserved turn in the spotlight with 20 Feet From Stardom, this documentary will probably be a welcome journey through the life of a fascinating figure for fans and give newcomers an idea of just why Bourdain is such a beloved figure. The first trailer is an emotional experience, featuring extended conversations with Bourdain’s global cadre of friends and admirers as they reminisce about what made him so special. Roadrunner hits theaters on July 16.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.