How do you put a life into 500 words? Ask the staff obituary writers at the New York Times. OBIT is a first-ever glimpse into the daily rituals, joys and existential angst of the Times obit writers, as they chronicle life after death on the front lines of history.


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  • ★★★½ review by George Hanna-Wilson on Letterboxd

    A compelling look into the New York Times small but passionate team of obituary writers. This documentary shows the process and hardships that being an obituary writer entails. It's these folks jobs to sum up an entire persons life in so many words. Considering that the people they write about are of cultural significance adds to the pressure. The writers themselves are an interesting bunch.

  • ★★★½ review by Luis_989 on Letterboxd

    A documentary about the obituary writers of the New York Times. What at first might seem like an unattractive subject becomes a rather entertaining work that puts a modest emphasis on a quite fascinating and rarely recognized world.

  • ★★★★½ review by Chase Anderson on Letterboxd

    No frills; none needed.

  • ★★★½ review by Matt Cipolla on Letterboxd

    The decisions of what person deserves a front page treatment, whose impacts were quantifiably greater, whose lives most people would rather read about, and the intimidating sense of agency that goes along with being one of the first to put a period on someone else's life are explored in Obit. to varying degrees of success. Although it has structural issues due to its often lacking adequate connective tissue to make difference sequences gel and flow together, it's also engaging and generally well paced, technically well made, and dryly—yet respectfully—funny.

    Full review here.

  • ★★★½ review by Mark Dujsik on Letterboxd

    Despite the misperception, an obituary is only 10 percent about death. The other 90 percent of the write-up is about life. That's the argument of one of the obituary writers who's featured in Obit, a strangely insightful and almost accidentally disheartening documentary. That latter quality is because the film is, despite the protests of its subjects, about death. It's just not about death in a way that the people within the film have accepted yet.

    See my full review at Mark Reviews Movies.

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