“We all are born with a certain package. We are who we are — where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We’re kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people. And for me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us.”
Film critic Roger Ebert, as quoted in the documentary of his life, “Life Itself,” directed by Steve James and released in 2014.
For further reading: Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert (2011)