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The Overnighters

This screening took place on
Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 5:30pm
Yukon Arts Centre

In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls, many from the margins of American life, show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck under the lure of the oil and gas boom in the ‘Bakken Shale Play’. A modern-day Grapes of Wrath, The Overnighters engages and dramatizes a set of universal societal and economic themes: the promise and limits of re-invention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the resistance that one small community feels when confronted by a surging river of desperate, job-seeking strangers. This vérié documentary, short-listed for the 2015 Academy Awards, follows Lutheran Pastor Jay Reinke as 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. The congregants begin slinging criticism and the City Council threatens to shut the controversial Overnighters program down, forcing the pastor to make a decision which leads to profound consequences that he never imagined. 

“Through patience, skill, discretion, and trust, Jesse Moss has taken a seemingly small town story and turned it into both a microcosm of today’s most urgent issues and a portrait of a single suffering soul.”
- Peter Keough, Boston Globe

  • Directed by Jesse Moss
  • 2014, USA
  • 102 minutes
    The Overnighters

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