“The Times is becoming the last place in American journalism where acknowledgements of worthy lives and newsworthy lives can be acknowledged.”
(Q&A with filmmaker after screening)
Documentary storytelling in print. First drafts of contemporary history. Neatly framed vignettes of worlds that will vanish along with their notable stars. Every morning, a small staff of obituary writers at The New York Times introduces three or four extraordinary lives into the cultural memory – each life’s story spun amid the daily beat of war, politics, and football scores. There are only a handful of editorial obituary writers in the world, and none are better than at The Times, where obits feature some of the best writing in journalism.
Obit offers insight into the lives of these legendary Times obit writers, as they chronicle life after death on the front lines of history. In doing so, the film raises essential questions: What survives death? What do we choose to remember?