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Bakken documentary shows gloomy perspective on housing crisis

Lydia Gilbertson | Shale Plays Media Google+

“The Overnighters” is a documentary film that was shown at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Created by filmmaker Jesse Moss the film’s intention is to find the dark side of the “economic miracle” that is the oil boom in western North Dakota. After some research, Moss decided to follow Pastor Jay Reinke, a Lutheran pastor from Williston who allowed down and out visitors to sleep in his church, for a year and a half. Reinke faced much criticism for his actions from his congregation for letting anyone who needed help, even registered sex offenders, live in his church. Moss stayed in the church hallways alongside the struggling workers who could not find a place to live due to the extremely overpriced housing market. Over 1,000 different people slept in the church over the course of 2 years.

View the trailer:

Drafthouse Films, the film’s distribution company, has high hopes that the film will be considered for an Oscar in 2015. Film critic Jason Gorber said, “’The Overnighters is a shattering experience; a masterwork of unbridled honesty as it delves into the messy ambivalence of regular lives. Easily one of this year’s best documentaries, it is both provocative and unsettling, energizing and immensely sorrowful.”

The theatrical release of the film will begin Oct. 10. There are no scheduled dates for any cities in North Dakota as of yet.

One of the most interesting aspects of the story concerns Keith Graves, who was recently charged with gross sexual imposition and human trafficking earlier this year. Graves stayed in Reinke’s house for a period of time during the filming of the documentary when his congregation found out that Graves was a registered sex offender.

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