No Man's Land
No Man's Land
THE SATURDAY MAY 5 SCREENING IS PART OF THE JUSTICE FORUM SERIES AND WILL INCLUDE A POST-FILM DISCUSSION.
In early 2016, President Donald Trump still seemed like a bad punchline, yet the angry roots of the movement that lifted him to power had already been formed. An early, unheeded sign of Middle America’s frustration came in January, when armed militants led by activist Ammon Bundy occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. The loosely organized right-wing militia was united by a shared hatred of what they perceived as tyranny and overreach by the federal government. The last straw was a dispute over grazing rights that led to an armed standoff with law enforcement that polarized neighbouring towns and eventually the whole of America. Filmmaker David Byars takes a fly-on-the-wall approach to documenting the Malheur standoff, enjoying unfettered access to the militia and its members. As what started out as a simple land dispute begins to unravel, the true horrors of what can happen when trust breaks down between people and institutions is revealed. Bullets literally start to fly, breaking whatever bonds of trust that may have existed between the extreme occupiers and their government. No Man’s Landis a harrowing reminder of what can happen when the ties that bind are severed. -CP