Anthony Bourdain’s Netflix Documentary Leaves Fans ‘Emotionally Shaken’
“I travel around the world, eat a lot of sh*t, and basically do whatever the f#*k I want.”
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain recently went live on Netflix, and has since captured the imaginations and emotions of fans and newcomers alike.
Focused on the life and times of the late celebrity chef, TV presenter, and prolific writer, the film charts a course through Bourdain’s incredible rise to fame, to his tragic suicide which shook the world back in 2018. A synopsis for the film, which was announced nearly two years ago, reads: “It’s not where you go. It’s what you leave behind…Chef, writer, adventurer, provocateur: Anthony Bourdain lived his life unabashedly. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon. From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, this unflinching look at Bourdain reverberates with his presence, in his own voice and in the way he indelibly impacted the world around him.”
Who Was Anthony Bourdain?
First developing a love for food while trying his first oyster on a childhood holiday in France, American-born Bourdain graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in the late seventies, setting off a journey where he explored the heights of New York City’s culinary scene, while simultaneously publishing some of the greatest pieces written in culinary journalism and even fiction.
Famous for his slick, yet charmingly crude takes on travel, food, and everything in between, Bourdain soon became a TV star in the early 2000s. “I travel around the world, eat a lot of shit, and basically do whatever the fuck I want,” was the way the prolific writer-chef described his life. Many of his early days were recounted years later, in beautiful prose that wove in narratives of everything from learning the art of discovering street food around the world, to sneaking in psychedelics from his kitchen buddies back in the 1980s.
The documentary explores much of this — and especially the unexpected way in which Bourdain’s magnificent story came to an end.
Without much warning, in a fashion that some have compared to actor Robin Williams, Bourdain — after achieving it all, decided to take his own life by hanging in 2018.
His body was discovered hanging in a hotel room in the remote French town of Kaysersberg, where he was working on an episode of Parts Unknown with longtime friend and award-winning chef, Éric Ripert.
By its very nature, and Bourdain’s own firebrand approach to food and life, several viewers found themselves emotionally shaken after the documentary, taking to Twitter to share their thoughts:
Just finished the doc ‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain’ which is now on Netflix. Amazing and honest portrayal of a flawed genius, I’m not sure if you can actually miss people you’ve never met, but it feels the world misses Anthony Bourdain.— Jake Warren (@TheJakeWarren) July 17, 2022
Anthony Bourdain showed me how I could be an adventurer in my own city. How I could be a food connoisseur and be dead broke. To enjoy the simple things but make a big deal about them. I’m thankful for his time here.— No Relation, Esq. (@TheCosby) July 9, 2022
The more I learn about Anthony Bourdain’s life? The more I see myself in him. Not the rich, not the privilege, but the sadness, the grief, the loss, the misery, even when trying to Bring light and joy in the world.— Shan (He/Him), #FireMikeMearls #DeplatformNazis (@Fenrirs_Chosen) July 16, 2022
It’s all mixed. the pain, the desire to bring joy.
What am I up to tonight? Watching the Anthony Bourdain documentary and sobbing loudly in my living room, thanks for asking— Kaela E. Thuney (@mothmannfanclub) July 14, 2022
While it’s been four years since Bourdain’s passing, his death sent waves through the world that are rememebered even today. While there’s no shortage of quotes that summed up his life, perhaps Barack Obama — who once dined with Bourdain in Vietnam for an episode of his final show — put it best:
“He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown,” wrote the ex-POTUS.
(Featured Image Credits: @Bourdain/Twitter)