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“The Overnighters” at SummerDocs at Guild Hall
August 29, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm$21 – $23
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 when hydraulic fracturing in that region unlocks a vast oil field in the nearby Bakken shale.
Upon arrival, however, busloads of newcomers step into the sad reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep – the town lacks the infrastructure to house even those who do find gainful employment.
Over at Concordia Lutheran Church, Pastor Jay Reinke is Hell-bent on delivering 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 sometimes even longer, sleeping on the floor, in the pews, and in their cars in the church parking lot.
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 they neighbor” and the practice of one small community when confronted by a surging river of desperate, job-seeking strangers.
The film premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Intuitive Filmmaking. The film will be released theatrically by Drafthouse Films in Fall 2014.
Directed by Jesse Moss
Film Running Time: 102 minutes
Reserved Seating $23/$21 members