A film by Robert Greene
2016, 112 minutes
No. 054


Robert Greene's new documentary, BISBEE '17, named the best film of the year by The New York Times, is now available here.

In July 1974, 29-year-old television host Christine Chubbuck went on air in Sarasota, Florida for her morning talk show “Suncoast Digest,” looked into the camera and said, “In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first – attempted suicide.” Then, on live TV, she shot herself. The incident became a national news story and is rumored to have been the inspiration for Sidney Lumet’s Oscar-winning film Network

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Greene's Kate Plays Christine follows a young actress named Kate Lyn Sheil (House of Cards) who is hired to portray Chubbuck in a new film.

Greene's deft, incisive and fascinating documentary is an investigation into Chubbuck's story. But rather than take a more typical approach, information about Christine's life is gleaned through Kate as she researches and rehearses for the role. Like a detective, Kate interviews old friends, scans newspaper archives, revisits locations important to Christine's story, all the while becoming increasingly obsessed with Chubbuck and in attempting to understand the motive behind her desperate final act.

Touching on a host of pressing issues, Kate Plays Christine is an exploration of the media and our culture-at-large, of the role of women in society and the workforce, of mental health and depression, of the nature of acting and performance, and ultimately, of the moral and ethical questions that arise when we try to tell certain kinds of stories.

* Winner, Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival
* Winner, IndieLisboa Film Festival
* Winner, Vision Award, Sarasota Film Festival
* Official Selection, Berlin Film Festival
* Official Selection, BAMcinemaFest
* Official Selection, True/False Film Festival

"A spellbinding investigation of fact, fiction, persona, performance and the act of watching." - LA Times

"What ultimately makes this film so extraordinary isn't just the imaginative approach or the wrenching subject matter; it's also seeing it in a theater and feeling as if everyone—men and women alike—are holding their breath." - Newsweek

"One of the year's most ambitious and fascinating documentaries." - Indiewire

"Once seen, it's never to be forgotten: a remarkable documentary that gives a devastatingly complex subject the kind of multifaceted, investigative respect it deserves." - The Playlist

"Fantastic. It's a film I’m also itching to assign to my classes for discussions about media theory and ethics. Highly recommended." - Christianity Today

"Cleverly confronts the ethics and purpose of exhuming the dead on screen, dismantling biopic conventions as it condemns our bottomless hunger for images of tragedy." - Rolling Stone

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