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Past Films

The Overnighters

  • Starring: Jay Reinke
  • Director: Jesse Moss
  • Genre(s): Drama, Documentary
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 102 min.

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. [Drafthouse Films]

"The film is non-fiction storytelling of remarkable nuance."
- David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
"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
"Director Jesse Moss was basically a one-man production crew, which explains how he was able to film such intimate, painful conversations. His work is haunting — one of the best documentaries of the year."
- David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
"Jesse Moss's documentary The Overnighters is a heart-wrencher about the clash between economics and ethics. Its story sounds like the sort of dry news blurb you'd skim over in the Sunday paper but unfolds into an epic tragedy."
- Amy Nicholson, Village Voice
"Jesse Moss’s documentary The Overnighters is being hailed as a modern-day “Grapes of Wrath,” which, up to a point, it is. But it’s far more complicated than that."
- Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

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