Directed by Erik Nelson
93 min | 2017 | USA | Not Rated
In 2010 David Crowley, an Iraq veteran, aspiring filmmaker, and charismatic up-and-coming voice in fringe politics, began production on his film ‘Gray State.’ Set in a dystopian near-future where civil liberties are trampled by an unrestrained federal government, the film’s crowd-funded trailer was enthusiastically received by the burgeoning online community of libertarians, Tea Party activists, and members of the nascent alt-right. In January 2015, Crowley was found dead with his family in their suburban Minnesota home. Their shocking deaths quickly become a cause célèbre for conspiracy theorists who speculate that Crowley was assassinated by a shadowy government concerned about a film and filmmaker that was getting too close to the truth about their aims.
Directed by Grizzly Man producer Erik Nelson and Executive Produced by Werner Herzog, A Gray State combs through Crowley’s archive of 13,000 photographs, hundreds of hours of home video, and exhaustive behind-the-scenes footage of Crowley’s work in progress to reveal what happens when a paranoid view of the government turns inward — blurring the lines of what is real and what people want to believe.
Official Selection: 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, 2017 Stockholm Film Festival
“Riveting…A Gray State provides timely political commentary along with a fascinating true-life crime tale.” –Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
“Everyone loves a conspiracy — which is one of the reasons that A Gray State, a tantalizing and fascinating real-life story, makes for compelling viewing. But it’s also supremely timely. A Gray State proves to be a highly topical and resonant trip down the “alt-right” rabbit hole, exposing a Trumpian world where facts are rejected in favor of paranoia and conjecture.”–Anthony Kaufman, Screen Daily