Obit

Opens Friday, May 19
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1hr 33mins // directed by:Vanessa Gould // featuring:Bruce Weber, William McDonald, Margalit Fox

Obit is the first documentary to look into the world of editorial obituaries, via the legendary obit desk at The Times. The film invites some of the most essential questions we ask ourselves about life, memory and the inevitable passage of time. What do we choose to remember? What never dies?

The writers de-emphasize the death, and tell stories of lives lived in extraordinary ways, often below the radar. With this comes uncommon insights – insights only the rare obituary writer could have – into the passage of generations, the astonishing cycle of life, the ebb and flow of time, and culture as it appears to accelerate and vanish at the same time.

★★★½ "There are two types of people in the world: those who turn to the obituaries first and everybody else. The latter wonder why the former have a preoccupation with death. The former answer that a well-turned obit can be a celebration of not only one life but life itself. Vanessa Gould’s charming and soulful documentary “Obit” should convince the doubters and cheer those who already know." — Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

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"Gould uses home movies, still photographs and snapshots in black and white and color to suggest the ephemeral lives obit writers try to capture on the page, and it adds a note of backward-looking retro-sadness. But on the whole, “Obit” is a mysteriously uplifting experi­ence because the people in the film are such professionals and because obits are not about death, but about the lives, some glorious, of the dead and are therefore a cele­bration of them…" — James Verniere , The Boston Herald

FULL REVIEW