Coming to VOD tomorrow, Tuesday, October 31:
NO MAN’S LAND
Montclair, Denver, St Louis, Mill Valley, Ashland, Camden
An inside look at the controversial occupation of Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge by right-wing militants.
Last year, when an armed group of self-styled “patriots,” frustrated by the policies of the federal government’s Bureau of Land Management, occupied Malheur, they cagily drew the attention of both traditional and social media, quickly becoming the subject of a national debate that encompassed concepts of state rights, federal over reach, gun control, and racial and religious bias in how “homegrown terrorism” is defined. Director David Byars managed to embed with the militants, led by Ammon Bundy, and is well-positioned to present their personalities and rationale for their extreme action, though as the days pass, both take on a desperate, paranoid air, with over dramatic macho posturing unable to disguise a lack of a clear plan. Balancing out their anger and discontent are the viewpoints of journalists who covered the story, as well as the nearby community of Burns OR, who are fearful of the protestors and the violence they expect will come in their wake. Byars film emerges as a remarkably intimate chronicle of the 41 day standoff, and of the disturbing anti-federalist sentiment at its heart that continues to reverberate across the country today.