A Gray State


Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7:30pm

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,” which was 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, but the work was never finished: In January 2015, Crowley was found dead with his family in their suburban Minnesota home. Their shocking deaths quickly became a cause célèbre for conspiracy theorists who speculated that Crowley was assassinated by a shadowy government concerned about a filmmaker who 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 vast archive of 13,000 photographs, hundreds of hours of home video, and behind-the-scenes footage of David’s work-in-progress to reveal what happens when a paranoid view of the government turns inward and the lines begin to blur between what is real and what people want to believe.

93 min.

Directed by

Erik Nelson

Film Category

Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight