Directed by Jesse Moss, new documentary The Overnighters , details the attempts of a Lutheran pastor named Jay Reinke to help the homeless migrants who flocked to the oil boom town of Williston, ND, in search of work.
“The lure of the boomtown and its powerful place in the American imagination resides in its seductive promise of redemption and fortune for the brave and the desperate,” Moss says in his director’s statement. “It is this theme—played out in stark, raw terms in North Dakota and viewed through the prism of Pastor Reinke’s Church—that drew me to this story. As a student of American history, I was fascinated by the idea that a boomtown existed in modern-day America. Stories about Williston suggested an intoxicating and possibly combustible mixture of oil, men, money, opportunity and crime.” The Overnighters enjoyed an acclaimed festival run, currently boasts an impressive 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was awarded a B+ by EW‘s Leah Greenblatt.