Morgan Spurlock partners with First Look Media and Impact Partners on Provocative “Patriot Movement” Verité
Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets, First Look Media, and Impact Partners announced today that production for the Untitled Patriot Movement Documentary feature has wrapped principal photography. Director and cinematographer David Byars (Self Storage) goes inside the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near rural Burns, Oregon, as members of the heavily armed "Patriot Movement" fortify the compound for an extended siege.
Produced by Academy Award® nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Emmy®-nominated Jeremy Chilnick (What Would Jesus Buy?, The Third Wave) of Warrior Poets and David Holbrooke (The Diplomat), Untitled Patriot Movement Documentary offers unfettered access to the armed protest led by Ammon Bundy, the son of the defiant leader of the anti-federal lands movement Cliven Bundy. With an insider’s view of a new breed of American ideologues, the film captures the inner workings of this bloody insurrection, the dramatic rise of the Patriot Movement and gives viewers an unprecedented first-hand look into the occupiers’ beliefs by living amongst them and giving them a voice.
"From the first moment I saw the raw footage David captured in Oregon, I knew I had to make this movie,” says producer Morgan Spurlock. “Audiences will be blown away. It's so timely and beyond powerful."
“Ammon and Cliven Bundy, heroes of the Patriot Movement, have zoomed from the radical fringe to the mainstream with lightning speed,” says Dan Cogan, Executive Director of Impact Partners. “If you want to understand American politics and American life today, you need to understand where they and their movement are coming from. With astonishing access and a great storyteller’s eye for detail, David Byars brings you into the heart of their world in eye-popping fashion. I cannot wait for the world to see this film!”
The thread running throughout the movement, and consequently the film, is an incendiary combination of disaffection, government mistrust, and an affinity for guns and vigilante justice. Untitled Patriot Movement Documentary parallels the meteoric rise of Donald Trump, showing the nation that these beliefs, seemingly relegated to radicals, have recently bled into mainstream politics. The project extends First Look Media’s support of innovative political documentary filmmaking as consistently seen in AJ Schnack's election docuseries NomiNation, a portrait of America’s political process, and Academy Award® winner Laura Poitras’ new Julian Assange documentary Risk, and Impact Partners’ groundbreaking work chronicling America today in films such as Danfung Dennis’ Academy Award® nominee Hell And Back Again, Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady’s Detropia, and Lauren Greenfield’s Queen Of Versailles.
“David Byars captured something truly exceptional in Oregon, a clear-eyed vision of an America we hear a lot about but really see up close,” says Adam Pincus, EVP of Programming and Content for First Look Media. “He’s managed to make a complicated, controversial story utterly human, and that’s something we’re thrilled to be a part of. This film packs a wallop, and we’re excited for audiences to see it.”
Filmmaker David Byars immerses the audience in the right-wing and libertarian extremist rebellion, with exclusive access into the Oregon compound for the occupation, as well as its aftermath. Beginning with the early days of the siege and climaxing with an ultimately deadly FBI car chase, Untitled Patriot Movement Documentary is a portrait of those on the fringe, telling the story the media could not.