March 13, 2015

The Overnighters (2014)

The Overnighters (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Jesse Moss
Country: USA

Movie Review: “The Overnighters” is a pertinent documentary that painfully observes the incidents occurred in Willistone, North Dakota, during the booming oil industry, which attracted a large number of people looking for a job, just to realize on site that basic needs such as housing was a mirage. Pastor Jay Reinke is the man that tries to ease the situation for this desperate flock in search of a better life, sheltering most of them in the parking lot of the Concordia Lutheran Church, for which he is responsible. What should have been a temporary measure, soon is extended for several months and then years, provoking the discontentment of the population that felt invaded and became fearful of the rampant increase of violent crimes and drug trafficking. We are introduced to some of the problematic men who arrived; some of them are former sexual offenders, major or minor crooks, or just simple workers whose hope is to give better conditions to their families. The 57-year-old pastor is seen as a compassionate angel, listening to everyone’s concerns and afflictions, and trying to give them the support they need to continue their dreams. Particular little dreams that, all together, widen the film's coverage to a frustrating, illusional ‘American Dream’. For the end, the pastor’s noble struggle collapses and the docudrama unfolds to something deeper, even disquieting about the man who deserved praise for the tireless work done in favor of people, especially the discriminated ones. Documentarian Jesse Moss, who visually was nothing brilliant, punches our faces with the final confessions and revelations, remembering us that there is no such thing as an infallible man. Luck or not, he nailed it.

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