Director: Jesse Moss
No good deed goes unpunished, and the central figure of Jesse Moss' documentary The Overnighters learns that the hard way. His loss, though, is Moss' gain as the director has the kind of good luck similar to that of Lauren Greenfield, the director of the great 2012 documentary The Queen of Versailles, in terms of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Having set up the cameras to capture one kind of compelling story - in this case the North Dakota oil boom and the related problem of a town unprepared for and unable to meet its sudden and dramatic increase in population - Moss is there and ready when an even more compelling story begins unfolding out that original one. Like The Queen of Versailles, I would argue that The Overnighters is a film that very much captures how things are now in our socio-economically unbalanced and increasingly unsustainable times, and as a result it's a film that inspires frustration, heartbreak, and astonishment in equal measure.