6.8/10
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1 user 11 critic

Oil Sands Karaoke (2013)

Oil Sands Karaoke is a documentary about five oil patch workers vying to win a karaoke contest in one of the most controversial places on the planet - Northern Alberta's infamous Oil Sands.... See full summary »

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Credited cast:
Dan Debrabandere ... Himself
Chad Ellis ... Himself
Jarrod Saunders ... Himself
Massey Whiteknife ... Himself
Brandy Willier ... Herself
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Oil Sands Karaoke is a documentary about five oil patch workers vying to win a karaoke contest in one of the most controversial places on the planet - Northern Alberta's infamous Oil Sands. These five characters know they're at the center of a global controversy and yet they continue to work there under extremely arduous physical conditions for long hours for extended periods without a single day off. Why? Obviously for the high wages. But what could motivate a person in this situation to sing karaoke, let alone take it seriously? A documentary unlike any other, Oil Sands Karaoke will make us laugh, sing along, and perhaps re-examine our biases. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Music

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26 April 2013 (Canada)  »

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No "wow" factor
7 June 2015 | by See all my reviews

I think the purpose of this documentary was to give a voice to the tar sands workers which may not happen very often. I am not sure how this "Karaoke" was supposed to help with their story though. Maybe they were trying to break stereotypes. You see five of them on the job, or getting ready to sing, or sing, or talk about their life and what they think about their job.

By listening to the workers, you understand three things about them:

1- They have zero idea about the greenhouse effect, other damages caused by fossil fuels, and their role in global warming and all it's disastrous consequences. One of the workers even describes his job as "cleaning up".

2- They all do this job for the good money it brings them (just like their big oil company).

3- They are mad at anyone who criticizes this dangerous and destructive industry.

Some of their stories or lifestyles that they have chosen were indeed interesting but other than that, the film does not teach anything new or bring awareness to a certain issue and has no "wow" factor. Even though its intention might have been to shine a positive light on these workers - in spite of the interesting facts you find out about them - still the interviews and the amount of ignorance they have, backfires this plan.


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