In January 2016, protesters gathered in Burns, Oregon, to denounce the conviction of two ranchers for arson on federal land. During the protest, a splinter group took over the nearby Malheur Wildlife Refuge. They quickly attracted a motley crew of right-wing militia, and what began as a movement to condemn the sentencing morphed into an insurrection by anti-government malcontents. The occupation got national coverage by the media, drawn by the spectacle of cowboys and militiants rebelling against the feds. It also attracted the attention of the FBI, who set up a nearby command center to quell it.
Director and cinematographer David Byars was granted remarkable access to the occupiers during the 41-day armed standoff that ensued. This gripping documentary offers a play-by-play from the inside while examining what draws Americans to the edge of revolution.
Producer: David Byars, Jeremy Chilnick, David Holbrooke, David Osit, Morgan Spurlock, Rachel Traub, Stash Wisl | Editor: David Osit | Cinematographer: David Byars