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Trailer Watch: Jesse Moss’s The Overnighters

I was flat out floored when I saw The Overnighters a few months back. It’s a documentary that unravels with the jagged edges of a thriller, while managing to be both an individual character study and comprehensive portrait of blue collar middle America and the nation’s economic and environmental crises. Still, it is somewhat unsurprising that many critics are calling out the film’s so-called manipulative treatment of its subjects, in a manner not unlike The Act of Killing‘s dissenters. I’d recommend seeing it for yourself and coming to your own conclusions when it opens on October 10. In the meantime, there’s the first trailer for the film, which is somewhat all over the place, neglecting to convey the true core of the story as Pastor Reinke’s dilemma. In his decision to open the local church as an after hours shelter for ex-cons who have come to mine the oil industry for jobs, the Pastor spurs a heated debate across the North Dakota hamlet, with deeply personal ramifications. Watch above.

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