US / 81 min. / Documentary
Directed by David Byars
Documentary about the 40-day occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, located south of Burns, Oregon. Fuelled by the belief that control and management of public lands does not belong with the federal government, Ammon Bundy leads a group of armed militants in a stand-off with law enforcement from January 2 to February 11, 2016. With unfettered access, Director and Director of Photography David Byars gives a detailed, on-the-ground account of the 2016 standoff between protestors occupying Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and federal authorities. After the leaders of this occupation put out a call to arms via social media, the Malheur occupiers quickly bolstered their numbers with a stew of right-wing militia, protestors, and onlookers. What began as a protest to condemn the sentencing of two ranchers quickly morphed into a catchall for those eager to register their militant antipathy toward the federal government. During the 41-day siege, the filmmakers were granted remarkable access to the inner workings of the insurrection as the occupiers went about the daily business of engaging in an armed occupation. NO MAN’S LAND documents the occupation from inception to its dramatic demise and tells the story of those on the inside of this movement – the ideologues, the disenfranchised, and the dangerously quixotic, attempting to uncover what draws Americans to the edge of revolution.