The film “Christine” about the tragic history of an American journalist, Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide live on TV 40 years ago, is breaking into festivals.
Many bet that its lead actress, the British Rebecca Hall, She is a favorite to be honored for her role as the character in this tragic story that shook America.
And it is the first and only live televised suicide that happened in that country. He was just 29 years old. It is believed that he suffered from mental problems, but was also under a lot of pressure from competition in his sector and from the fact that his network had ordered to generate more “sensationalist” crisis journalism.
Prestigious publications such as Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire describe her performance as “fabulous” and “heart-stopping” and predict that she will be hugely successful.
But how does she feel about her role in this movie?
Despite the time that has passed since the incident, Hall – star of Woody Allen’s film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” that won the Oscar in 2008 – explains to the BBC that the film contains “some of the most difficult performances I have ever done. “.
Hall remembers the “huge concern” he felt when he read the script. “When you’re an actor, they send you a letter with the script, along with a summary on the subject, and I remember reading it and thinking, ‘Well, this is exploitation, I don’t want to read it.’
“I was very nervous when I read it, and then it affected me a lot, I was angry and sad. I remember throwing it on the table to get rid of it.”
“I didn’t want to touch him, and in that moment I knew I had to because if he had reacted in this way, then he had the potential to become something important. Not in a macabre way, but I thought he had the power to provoke deep feelings.”
“He did the unthinkable, but we do not glorify the tragedy in any way. He simply should never have died“.
During the weeks leading up to her suicide in July 1974, Chubbuck, who had kept her depression a secret, suggested covering stories about suicide. “
On July 15, reading the morning news, he said: “To continue Channel 40’s policies of bringing you the latest in blood and brains, you will see another first: a suicide attempt.”
Just then he shot himself behind one ear with a revolver and died the next day in hospital.
“We didn’t want to be ghoulish, but I suppose audiences are initially interested in the story since she committed suicide live on TV, that’s what people know about her, and that’s the common thread of the film.”
The last scene
“It was the last scene I shot for the movie, and I was leaving the next day, the emotions on stage could be felt and they were strange. It is one of the saddest things I have done, you cannot forget it. The adrenaline is enormous, even though you know you’re just acting. “
After Chubbuck’s suicide, the director of the Florida TV channel WXLT where the journalist worked tried to distance the company from the event, stating that “she was 29 years old and wanted to be married and she was not,” in reference to romantic breakups that had occurred. suffered the journalist.
“I don’t think the world was good to her,” says Hall.
“I was in a very tough sector, and we see in the film that possibly he did not have the qualities to succeed in it. “
“If I had the emotional tools and help to deal with all of this, I think I would have survived, but then there was very little diagnosis and treatment for those kinds of problems.”
I wish it hadn’t been done
They gave the video of the incident to his family, and Hall says that “luckily it was another time and it is not accessible to people.”
Referring to the murder of two journalists in Virginia, USA, last year live on TV at the hands of a former colleague, Hall muses on “the power of the screen to blur reality. It only exists and makes sense if someone does it. He is watching”.
“One of the main themes of the film is the feeling of real and fictitious identity. Christine Chubbuck also used to play herself it was a performance. I’m not saying its ending was a performance, but it had an element of radical protest. “
Born in London, Hall has been working in Hollywood for almost a decade, on films like Iron Man 3 and Ben Affleck’s The Town.
Hall says he “would rather that the movie never had to be made, and that Christine were alive.”
“The thing is, even when something so shocking happens on TV, the film shows that the world is moving on. Yes, you get headlines during the day. But then President Nixon was indicted, another piece of news and the old one is old.”
“It’s this harshness of the news that eventually I think she couldn’t bear.”
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“He did something unthinkable, but we did not glorify the tragedy”: Rebecca Hall speaks, the actress who plays Christine Chubbuck, the journalist who committed suicide live on TV