Best of Fest: Mon. February 1, 6:00pm, Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
In 1974, television host Christine Chubbuck committed suicide on air at a Sarasota, Florida, news station. This is considered the first televised suicide in history, and though it was the inspiration for the 1976 Best Picture nominee Network, the story and facts behind the event remain mostly unknown. Now in the present, actress Kate Lyn Sheil is cast in a “stylized cheap ‘70s soap opera” version of Christine’s story, and to prepare for the role, Kate travels to Sarasota to investigate the mysteries and meanings behind her tragic demise.
Filmmaker Robert Greene cleverly forgoes your standard talking-head-and-sound-bite approach to nonfiction storytelling, instead choosing to employ Kate Lyn Sheil as a conduit to understanding an impossibly complex issue. Committed to doing justice to Christine’s life, Kate not only candidly pulls back the curtain on her acting process, but she also reveals the biases and presumptions even supposed experts can provide in their diagnosis. Kate Plays Christine boldly challenges its subjects and audience alike to accept that answers from the past are never easy.
Robert Greene’s films include the Gotham Awards–nominated Actress (2014), Fake It So Real (2012), and Kati with an I (2010). Robert has edited films including Queen of Earth (2015) and Listen Up Philip (2014) by Alex Ross Perry, Approaching the Elephant (2014) by Amanda Rose Wilder, and Christmas, Again (2014) by Charles Poekel. Robert writes for Sight & Sound and is the filmmaker-in-chief at the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.