Rory Kennedy’s ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ and Jesse Moss’ ‘The Overnighters’ to Close Hamptons International Film Festival Summerdocs Series
Rory Kennedy's 'Last Days in Vietnam' and Jesse Moss' 'The Overnighters' to Close Hamptons International Film Festival Summerdocs Series
The Hamptons International Film Festival has announced the final two films that will screen as a part of its sixth annual Summerdocs Series this year.
Rory Kennedy’s "Last Days in Vietnam" will screen Saturday, August 16 after which actor Alec Baldwin will moderate a post-screening conversation with Kennedy and one of the film’s subjects, Stuart Herrington, as well as director Jesse Moss, whose film "The Overnighters" will screen Friday, August 29.
"From Kennedy’s moving chronicle of a pivotal moment in our country’s foreign policy to Jesse’s examination of some unexpected results of the new economy, both filmmakers are in top form," said Baldwin.
"Rory Kennedy and Jesse Moss are both filmmakers whose work we’ve had the privilege of screening in the past," said Artistic Director David Nugent, "and we’re delighted to present their latest work."
The films’ synopses are listed below, courtesy of HIFF:
"Last Days in Vietnam" explores the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance crumbles. The United States has only a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives still in the country. As Communist victory becomes inevitable and the U.S. readies to withdraw, some Americans begin to consider the certain imprisonment and possible death of their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers, and friends. Meanwhile, the prospect of an official evacuation of South Vietnamese becomes terminally delayed by Congressional gridlock and the inexplicably optimistic U.S. Ambassador. With the clock ticking and the city under fire, a number of heroic Americans take matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many South Vietnamese lives as possible.
"The Overnighters:" In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck when hydraulic fracturing in that region unlocks a vast oil field in the nearby Bakken shale. Upon arrival, however, busloads of newcomers step into the sad reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep – the town lacks the infrastructure to house even those who do find gainful employment. Over at Concordia Lutheran Church, Pastor Jay Reinke is Hell-bent on delivering the migrants some dignity. Night after night he converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, opening the church’s doors to allow the "Overnighters" – as he calls them – to stay for a night, a week or sometimes even longer, sleeping on the floor, in the pews, and in their cars in the Church parking lot. A modern-day "Grapes of Wrath," "The Overnighters" engages and dramatizes a set of universal societal and economic themes: the promise and limits of re-invention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to "love they neighbor" and the practice of one small community when confronted by a surging river of desperate, job-seeking strangers. The film premiered in the US Documentary Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival where it was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Intuitive Filmmaking.
For information on and tickets to the HIFF Summerdocs Series, visit the Guild Hall website. The 22nd Hamptons International Film Festival will take place over Columbus Day Weekend, October 9-13 this fall.