7.3/10
377
6 user 25 critic

Obit. (2016)

Writers and editors from the New York Times discuss their unique approach to writing the obituaries of public figures.

Director:

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A look at the life and work of photographer Elsa Dorfman.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Elsa Dorfman
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs fights to save historic New York City during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Stars: Thomas Campanella, Vincent D'Onofrio, Mindy Fullilove
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A small financial institution called Abacus becomes the only company criminally indicted in the wake of the United States' 2008 mortgage crisis.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Neil Barofsky, Ti-Hua Chang, Margaret Colin
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The history of Dawson City, the gold rush town that had a historical treasure of forgotten silent films buried in permafrost for decades until 1978.

Director: Bill Morrison
Stars: Kathy Jones-Gates, Michael Gates, Sam Kula
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Depicts a cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists (from MIT and NASA) who have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami. Through their determination to reinterpret... See full summary »

Director: Vanessa Gould
Stars: Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Vincent Floderer
Step (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

STEP documents the senior year of a girls' high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore.

Director: Amanda Lipitz
Stars: Paula Dofat, Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger
Documentary | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An exploration of the relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen, who was implicated in his murder in 1972.

Director: Kasper Collin
Stars: Lee Morgan, Helen Morgan, Wayne Shorter
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.

Director: Frederick Wiseman
Trophy (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This in-depth look into the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation in the U.S. and Africa unravels the complex consequences of treating animals as commodities.

Directors: Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz
Menashe (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.

Director: Joshua Z Weinstein
Stars: Menashe Lustig, Yoel Falkowitz, Ruben Niborski
The Last Laugh I (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

World famous comedians including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Gilbert Gottfried pitch in with their own views on the boundaries of comedy.

Director: Ferne Pearlstein
Stars: Renee Firestone, Klara Firestone, Gilbert Gottfried
Obit (2012)
Short | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Jazzez Jones
Stars: Lester Beamon, Alveta Ewell, Mike Jackson Jr.
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Bruce Weber ...
William McDonald ...
Margalit Fox ...
Herself
William Grimes ...
Himself
Jack Kadden ...
Douglas Martin ...
Himself
Jeff Roth ...
Daniel Slotnik ...
Himself
Paul Vitello ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Keepnews ...
Dolores Morrison ...
Herself
Jon Pareles ...
Himself
Earl Wilson ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

obituary | See All (1) »

Taglines:

An inside look at life on the New York Times obituaries desk. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 2016 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,185, 28 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$304,191, 14 July 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Soundtracks

(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
Written by James E. Myers & Max Freedman
Performed by Bill Haley and the Comets
Published by Myers Music, Inc.
Published by Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP) and Measureless Publishing (ASCAP)
Courtesy og Geffen Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Who would have thought death could be so much fun?
12 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

"Maybe a sentence or two will be about the death." Obituarist

Dying is no fun, but the obit writers at the New York Times make the most of it. They treat the assignment as a celebration of life, a real life, a history of people who made differences in the lives of others. Additionally, more than the responsibility of finding out the facts of a life is getting the facts correct.

Obit is a surprisingly upbeat documentary about a decidedly downbeat subject. The reporters are animated about the celebration and the discoveries they uncover in their journalistic pursuit. Most of them were accomplished journalists who are chosen because that part of the paper has grown from a pasture for declining reporters to a field of artistic possibilities energized by the lives the reporters chronicle.

Much of the time they are going on gut feeling. When they reported on John Fairfax, the first to cross an ocean in a rowboat, they hit a goldmine because his life outside the rowboat was even more interesting.

In one of the most prominent obits, the somewhat discursive doc features the death of William Wilson, one of the first TV consultants, who advised JFK the night in 1960 when he defeated Richard Nixon by virtue of Kennedy's telegenic superiority, helped in no small part by Wilson's choice of such details as the makeup he hurried to buy at a pharmacy.

An interesting part of such obits as Wilson's is the choice for lead paragraph or the headline or where in the paper it should go--front page or obit section--and how long in words. These decisions are not fed into an algorithm but rather are the province of writers and editors who know history and culture well enough to make the decision.

The NYT is my favorite newspaper, so good that I read the obits along with the editorials. Such a gift to me ensures that my own obit will exude the joie de vivre we both share.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Academy Awards Anarchy With Jordan Horowitz

La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz recounts the moment his movie was mistakenly awarded an Oscar. Plus, "The IMDb Show" finds out who your celebrity doppelgangers are.

Watch now