Screened as part of NZIFF 2021

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain 2021

Directed by Morgan Neville

The life of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was about so much more than just food, as affectionate documentary Roadrunner illustrates in interviews with those whose lives were touched by the curious, convivial rover.

USA In English
118 minutes




Anthony Bourdain
Ottavia Busia
Eric Ripert
Christopher Collins
Lydia Tenaglia
David Chang
Tommy Vitale
John Lurie


Morgan Neville
Caitrin Rogers


Adam Beckman


Eileen Meyer
Aaron Wickenden


Michael Andrews
John Lurie
Queens of the Stone Age


Tribeca 2021


Presented in association with


To fans, Anthony Bourdain was a figure of relentless inquisitiveness, deeply committed to experiencing all this world had to offer. He seemed such a positive force in the mediascape that many were left completely blindsided by his suicide in 2018. Roadrunner has little to say in resolving Bourdain’s tragic end, concerned instead with celebrating the way he lived – honest, adventurous and engaged.

Filmmaker Morgan Neville (Won't you Be My Neighbor?, Best of Enemies NZIFF 2015) concentrates this latest documentary on the period of Bourdain’s life most familiar to the public, charting his rise to television stardom. When Bourdain’s enjoyable tell-all about the inner workings of fancy restaurants, Kitchen Confidential, makes him an overnight success, he corrals newfound star power to become a travelling television personality with shows like A Cook’s Tour and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

 At times the film does paint Bourdain as a frustratingly self-defeating character, but it isn’t as interested in ‘figuring out’ the charismatic celebrity as it is exemplifying the sort of frank and spontaneous tribute Bourdain himself might have created.

There is no shortage of interesting people who have come into Bourdain’s orbit, but the film wisely eschews star power to prioritise interviewees with real intimacy and insight. Roadrunner is a suitably colourful and energetic tribute to a life thoroughly lived. —Adrian Hatwell