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Oil Sands Karaoke: a rich portrait of the people who work in Fort McMurray

2.5 out of 4 stars

Directed by
Charles Wilkinson
Debrabandere, Chad Ellis, Jarrod Saunders, Massey Whiteknife and Brandy Willier

Director Charles Wilkinson provides a novel look at the oil sands and the culture of Fort McMurray, Alta., with this slow but often insightful documentary about five residents competing in a karaoke competition at a local pub.

Some of them dream of being professional signers, while some drive trucks bigger than you could imagine in the oil patch.

The contest itself doesn't afford much tension, but the lives of contestants offers a rich portrait of the people who live and work in Fort McMurray, showing the rarely seen human side of working in one of the most environmentally maligned areas of the country, if not the world.

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It shows Wilkinson is an assured filmmaker who avoids the pitfalls of made-for-TV clichés.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More


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