Christine Chubbuck’s life — or, more accurately, death — inspired two different movies that premiered at Sundance this year: Robert Greene’s “Kate Plays Christine” and Antonio Campos’ “Christine.” Famous for ending her life on live television in 1974, Chubbuck was a news reporter in Sarasota, Florida whose last moments have fascinated for decades. Questions have long surrounded the existence of video of her live suicide. It’s now been confirmed by Vulture that such a tape does indeed exist — but no one is likely to ever see it.
The discovery was apparently prompted by the wave of publicity resulting from Greene and Campos’ films. Mollie Nelson, whose late husband Robert owned the news station Chubbuck worked for, informed Vulture that he kept a copy of the tape (though she doesn’t know why) and that it passed to her after his death. She handed the video off to a law firm after attention brought about by “Kate Plays Christine” in particular made her uncomfortable and apparently has no plans to ever release it.
“Christine” will be released on October 14 by The Orchard. Grasshopper Film, which acquired “Kate Plays Christine,” has yet to set a release date for Greene’s film.