“Refuge” is defined as a place of shelter from pursuit, danger, or trouble. With this film, we hope to offer a safe space in which to consider new, sometimes difficult, but rewarding ways of discussing and coming together, through the transformative power of story.


In Brief

Refuge explores long-smoldering disputes over land and identity igniting the 2016 armed occupation of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, thrusting a community into the crossfire and fortifying ideological divides across the West and beyond. From a broad spectrum of divergent voices, a nuanced and at times paradoxical narrative emerges, examining ways the Western Myth both serves and harms us, and challenging us to imagine a new way West.

For more background on the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, please refer to our Directors’ Statement, in the Filmmakers section, as well as an excellent radio documentary about the occupation, produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting.: 41 Days: An OPB Documentary on the Oregon Occupation.


Our mission is to stir conversation, challenge stereotypes, forge connections, and deepen our understanding of a complex world.

We envision a world in which diverse neighbors come together on common ground to exchange ideas and craft a life with purpose and dignity.


  Highway 205, near Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, in Harney County, Oregon

Highway 205, near Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, in Harney County, Oregon

Donate to Refuge

Here's how you can become part of the Refuge community. After reading about Refuge on this site, we believe you will understand the urgency of this film and the message it conveys. We invite you to donate toward its completion, which will be in early 2019. All donations are tax-deductible. We work with our fiscal sponsor, the historic Hollywood Theatre, in Portland for all contributions. Thank you for your support and for your contribution. Please donate here: Hollywood Theatre—Refuge