DIRECTOR: VANESSA GOULD
Every morning, a small staff of obituary writers at The New York Times deposits the details of three or four extraordinary lives into the cultural memory – each life’s story spun amid the daily beat of war, politics, and football scores. It’s amazing what goes on in the obits. There are only a handful of editorial obituary writers in the world, and none are better than at The Times, where obits have become some of the best writing in journalism. Documentary storytelling in print. First drafts of contemporary history. Mirrors of life’s great variety, humor and pathos. Neatly framed vignettes of worlds that will vanish along with their notable stars. 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?
Vanessa Gould is a filmmaker, editor and camera operator working in Brooklyn. Gould recently completed OBIT, a feature-length documentary about The New York Times obituaries and their writer-reporters. OBIT world-premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and will be released by Kino Lorber in 2017. In 2012–2013, she produced and shot for Showtime's Emmy®-winning Years of Living Dangerously, a documentary series about climate change executive produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.