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Plug in for documentary 'Obit'

Join those involve for their first in-person event this season, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, to view "Obit," a documentary that profiles obituary writers.

Plug in at Robbins logo

 We will view this documentary in the Community Room. Registration is required, as audience size will be limited to 30. Chairs will be spaced to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Attendees must also wear masks.

 How do reporters race against deadline to sum up a long and newsworthy life in under 1,000 words. Can you imagine trying to sum up the genius and magic of Stephen Sondheim, who died last week, in so few words and with a looming deadline? We'll get an inside look at how they do that. Details about this award-winning documentary are below.

As we near the end of December, my mind turns to 'Auld Lang Syne' by Robert Burns, in which the speaker cherishes old acquaintances and the memories associated with them. When you think of it, obituaries are the prose version of Burns's poem, and unlike a poem are written on deadline.


The official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival and Hot Docs Festival, "Obit." is the first documentary to explore the world of obituary 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. 

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 1,000 words.

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. 

Deadline to register was Dec. 15 

Michèle Meagher

Coordinator, Plug In - a Robbins Library event >>

This news announcement was published Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.


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