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Poster for Obit


Director: Vanessa Gould Run Time: 96 min. Format: DCP Rating: NR Release Year: 2016

Starring: Bruce Weber, Daniel Slotnik, Douglas Martin, Jack Kadden, Jeff Roth, Margalit Fox, Paul Vitello, William Grimes, William McDonald

OBIT is a first-ever glimpse into the daily rituals, joys and existential angst of the New York Times obit writers, as they chronicle life after death on the front lines of history. 

Q&A with director Vanessa Gould following the screening.

Within the storied walls of The New York Times, a team of writers is entrusted with reflecting upon the lives of luminaries, icons, and world leaders of our day. Often hours before newspaper hits doorstep—and the world’s eyes devour words marking the end of a momentous life–endless detail is gathered and impossible choices must be made. Vanessa Gould’s fascinating documentary, Obit, introduces us to the unseen women and men responsible for crafting the unequaled obituaries of the NYT. As we’re taken through their painstaking process of digging through years of accomplishments, we learn about the particular pressures that accompany a career spent trying to elegantly and respectfully shape the story of a life for an audience of millions. From notorious politicians and beloved musicians to unknown personalities who have advanced the worlds of science, literature, and sports, the obit writers are in the unique and often unenviable position of spotlighting individuals whose impact and influence is near impossible to measure. —Liza Domnitz