Obit. 2017. USA. Directed by Vanessa Gould. 95min.
Ten hours before newspapers hit the doorstep—and ten minutes before news hits the web—an obit writer is racing against deadline to sum up a long and complex life in under a thousand words. The encapsulations of these lives are then dropped into the cultural memory amid the daily beat of war, politics, and sports stats. The first documentary to explore the world of these writers, Obit focuses – often with surprising humor – on the legendary team at The New York Times, as they approach their daily work with rigor and narrative flair. Going beyond the byline and into the minds of these ultimate chroniclers of lives, Obit addresses some of the essential questions we all ask ourselves about life, memory, meaning and the inevitable passage of time. What do we choose to remember about ourselves, and about others?
“A remarkably good film about the craft of writing. I was amazed and delighted by Obit.” –Stuart Klawans, The Nation