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Julia directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West on CNN
Julia directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West

JULIA, from Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West (RBG), will premiere for television on CNN on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 8:00pm and 10:00pm Eastern (5:00pm and 7:00pm Pacific), with limited commercial interruption. The documentary celebrates the life and career of chef, cookbook author, and television and cultural pioneer, Julia Child.

“Julia Child was an irresistible subject,” say filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen, “and not just because of her charismatic, joie-de-vivre personality, and crying-out-for-imitation voice. As a cookbook author and television chef, Julia had a profound impact on the way Americans think about food, about television, and about the possibilities for women.”

Sizzling with mouth-watering food cinematography, diced with never-before-seen archival film and photos, and interviews with those who knew her, the documentary captures the surprising, and quietly subversive, life of Julia Child. Born to a well-to-do, conservative California family, Julia McWilliams worked in advertising after graduating from Smith College, and later in support roles for the OSS intelligence agency during World War II. The film uses excerpts from the personal diaries of Julia McWilliams and Paul Child, to reveal their courtship and early marital adventures as they followed Paul’s foreign service assignments to Germany, Norway, and France, where she trained at the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.

The film explores Julia Child’s nearly ten year toil of testing recipes and exchanging notes with two friends who shared her love of French food. In 1961, the co-authors published the masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Knopf Doubleday), which has sold more than 2.5M copies to date. It was during the promotional tour for the book in the U.S., at the age of 50, that Julia Child landed her legendary television show, The French Chef, and her extraordinary career took flight.

The documentary features contemporary interviews with a constellation of those who loved Child, including José Andrés; Child’s niece, Phila Cousins; Ina Garten; Charlie Gibson; Jacques Pépin; Child’s nephew, Alex Prud’Homme; Cecile Richards; Marcus Samuelsson; and many more. Throughout JULIA, her family, colleagues, and admirers detail her vast, enduring influence upon American kitchens and culture. “She made it (cooking) look like it was fun,” enthuses Garten in the documentary.

Watch the trailer for Julia

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