“Powerful… [a] modern-day Steinbeckian parable… The Overnighters presents an indelible snapshot of a despairing moment in American history, as men abandon homes, families and dreams to stake their claim in an ever-shrinking land of opportunity.” — Justin Chang, Variety
Watch the trailer: The Overnighters premieres Monday, June 29, 2015, at 10 PM on PBS stations.
Chasing the American dream, thousands of workers flock to a North Dakota town where the oil business is booming. But instead of well-paying jobs, many find slim work prospects and a severe housing shortage. Pastor Jay Reinke converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, allowing hundreds of men, some with checkered pasts, to stay there despite the congregation’s objections and neighbors’ fears. The men become known as “overnighters,” and community opposition to their presence soon reaches a boiling point.
Visit the POV companion site for The Overnighters to watch the full film online for free for a limited time following the broadcast (starting June 30, 2015), learn from the filmmakers in an extended video interview, find out what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling and download a discussion guide and other viewing resources.
Share your thoughts and ask questions by using the hashtag #TheOvernighters.
“The church was a raw, emotional place. Desperation forces people to drop their usual defenses,” said filmmaker Jesse Moss in a filmmaker statement. “Men cried as they showed me pictures of their children. They told me about their dreams of lucrative jobs on the oil rigs that checkered the prairie landscape. I decided to stay and film. I was determined to make an observational documentary. I had no idea how the story would turn out, but I found a path to follow and someone to lead me down it.”
The Overnighters premieres Monday, June 29, 2015 at 10 PM on PBS stations.
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