Jesse Moss' “The Overnighters” was one of the breakout documentary hits of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, taking home a Special Jury Prize.
Set in Williston, North Dakota, “The Overnighters” depicts the problems in a small town when oil prospects bring in an avalanche of new jobs and an even larger onslaught of potential workers, many drawn by the opportunity to restart lives stalled by prolonged unemployment or murky pasts.
Caught in the middle between a wary community and the invading horde aspiring to the American Dream is Pastor Jay Reinke, who opens the doors of the Concordia Lutheran Church to this influx of settlers.
If you'll recall my review from Sundance, I had reservations about the last quarter of “The Overnighters,” which seemed to overreach for conclusions based on narrative twist-of-sorts. However, for much of its running time, “Overnighters” is provocative in the most literal sense of the word. It forces viewers to ask difficult questions about faith, charity, the burdens of altruism and the shifting economic realities in the Wild West of contemporary America.
In this exclusive clip, we see many of those themes play out as one of Reinke's parishioners expresses concern about Williston's new residents and their impact on the church, leading the pastor to defend those choices.
Drafthouse Films is releasing “The Overnighters,” which opens in Los Angeles on October 31.
Check out the clip above.