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One of the most potent examples of cinéma vérité to arrive in recent years, Jesse Moss's "The Overnighters" transcends the genre with a multifaceted examination of complex social issues facing the town of Williston, North Dakota.
This story, touching many social issues, is told on a very personal level. There is an extraordinary revelation near the end of the film. It is as if it was written by a great screenwriter, but instead, it is real life. Amazing.
Moss uses images of drill towers or blistering flame as visual metaphors for other things transpiring on screen: the fracturing of a family, the heated fury that comes with a sense of betrayal.
December 19, 2014
"The Overnighters" is commendable for many reasons, not the least of which is the way it allows complex issues to remain complex. There is a clear conflict between the pastor and the town, but there's no good vs. evil.