Obit at Real Art Ways

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93% Fresh Rating on

It’s a shame no one wants to talk to them at parties, because obituary writers are a surprisingly funny bunch!

Ten hours before newspapers hit neighborhood doorsteps — and these days, ten minutes before news hits the web — an obit writer is racing against deadline to sum up a long and newsworthy life in under 1000 words.

The details of these lives are then deposited into the cultural memory amid the daily beat of war, politics, and football scores.

Obit. is the first documentary to explore the world of these writers and their subjects, focusing on the legendary team at The New York Times, who approach their daily work with journalistic rigor and narrative flair.

Going beyond the byline and into the minds of those chronicling life after death on the freshly inked front lines of history, 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 people brought to life here, using a combination of the written obituary and news clips, are a varied and fascinating bunch."

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"It is abundantly clear that Obit was made by someone who, to paraphrase featured obituarist Bruce Weber, has encountered death before and knows how to approach the subject with compassion."

Andrew Lapin, NPR

"Readers of the New York Times are bound to enjoy an inside look at one of the paper's most dependably enthralling sections."

Godfrey Cheshire,

"One comes away from "Obit" grateful that the paper has at its disposal a team of humane, gifted people who make commemorating the dead a lively, lasting art."

Gene Seymour, New York Times

"One of the few great films I've seen about writing."

Erik Luers, Filmmaker Magazine

"The writers' stories are juxtaposed snugly beside the details of their subjects to create an exceptionally tight, often hilarious film."

Nathan Carson, Willamette Week