In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck under the lure of the oil boom. However, busloads of newcomers chasing a broken American Dream step into the stark reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep. The town lacks the infrastructure to house the overflow of migrants, even for those who do find gainful employment. Over at Concordia Lutheran Church, pastor Jay Reinke is driven to deliver the migrants some dignity. Night after night, he converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, opening the church’s doors to allow the “Overnighters” (as he calls them) to stay for a night, a week or longer. They sleep on the floor, in the pews and in their cars in the church parking lot. Many who take shelter with Reinke are living on society’s fringes and with checkered pasts, and their presence starts affecting the dynamics of the small community. Director Jesse Moss joins us to talk about his award-winning documentary The Overnighters and the powerful way he engages and dramatizes a set of universal societal and economic themes: the promise and limits of reinvention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the resistance that one small community.
This weekend Director Jesse Moss Nuart Theatre (Los Angeles, CA):
Director Jesse Moss will appear in person on Friday, October 31 for a Q&A after the 7:30pm show and to introduce the 9:45pm show, Saturday, November 1 for a Q&A after the 7:30pm show and to introduce the 9:45pm show, and Sunday, November 2 for a Q&A after the 2:50pm and 5:10pm shows.
“riveting…superior documentary filmmaking” – The Hollywood Reporter
“powerful… Steinbeckian…an indelible snapshot of a despairing moment in American history” – Variety
” devastating… one of the most remarkable examples of layered non-fiction storytelling to come along in some time” – Indiewire
“It will leave you stunned…starkly bleak and devastatingly humane, and an indelible American documentary” – The Playlist
“remarkable… magnificent” – Filmmaker Magazine
“fascinating… a standout documentary at Sundance 2014” – Movie City News