The story of Christine Chubbuck is one that’s difficult to believe is true. In 1974, Chubbuck, an on-air news reporter in Sarasota, Florida, shot and killed herself on live television. Even if Chubbuck’s name is not familiar, the story might be, in part due to the fact that it was said to have inspired Paddy Chayefsky’s script for the much-lauded 1976 film Network, which, though did not include an on-air suicide, did reference one.
While it is doubtful that Chayefsky was actually inspired by Chubbuck’s suicide (he had begun working on the script prior to what happened in Florida), 42 years after Chubbuck’s death, two new movies centering around the event have been made. One is a documentary, Kate Plays Christine, that trails actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play Chubbuck on film—very meta. The other, Christine, stars Rebecca Hall in the titular role and Michael C. Hall as George Peter Ryan, Chubbuck’s coworker at the network, for whom, it is believed, Chubbuck had unrequited romantic feelings.
Watch the trailer for Christine above, and see Hall’s Christine go from being frustrated with a job that she feels values exploitative over quality content to becoming unhinged at the personal and professional rejections she couldn’t seem to bear. Just try to tear your eyes away; we bet you can’t.
Christine opens on October 14.