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3 out of 4 stars

Title
Oil Sands Karaoke
Directed by
Charles Wilkinson
Country
Canada
Language
English

Environmental disaster or economic godsend: From a distance, many have rendered a black-and-white judgment on Alberta's controversial oil sands. But walk a mile in the work boots of the people who have gone there to earn a paycheque – fuelled by debt, heartbreak, even personal trauma – and there's a lot more grey. In this surprisingly sensitive documentary, life in Fort McMurray is viewed through the experiences of five oil patch workers trying to win a karaoke contest at a local pub. Poignant and beautifully shot, the film takes pains not to judge as it paints a dignified portrait of the boomtown and the workers.

At VIFF: Oct. 4, 7 p.m., International Village; Oct. 6, 2:30 p.m., Vancity; Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m., SFU

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About the Author
Western Arts Correspondent

Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver. She covers the film and television industry, visual art, literature, music, theatre, dance, cultural policy, and other related areas. More

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