Overcast 34° Good Afternoon
Overcast 34° Good Afternoon

'The Overnighters' a damning new documentary

"The Overnighters" Photo Credit: Drafthouse Films

The Golden Rule, the idea that you should love your neighbor as you love yourself, is among the most fundamental and long-standing notions of human rights.

And yet it is too often neglected or downright forgotten, cast aside out of fear and subjugated by loneliness and isolation.

"The Overnighters," a remarkable new documentary, shows it to be in a perilous place in 21st-century America, chronicling the ways a good-hearted Williston, North Dakota, pastor named Jay Reinke is castigated by his community after he opens his church doors to overnight stays from the men desperate for work, who flock to the state seeking employment in its oil industry.

This is a damning indictment, a modern-day "Grapes of Wrath" chronicling nothing short of basic decency's collapse in a depressed environment of mistrust and unease, as a fundamentally kind man must fight and claw for the right to do the right thing.

Documentarian Jesse Moss illuminates this collective social crisis with wide-screen images of derricks surrounded by waving wheat fields, men with hardened faces covered in soot and mud and close-ups on Reinke as he struggles to find some light in the darkness.

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