Broken, desperate men from across America flock to the North Dakota oil-fields to seek work and salvation. This is America’s new frontier, a place where civilization meets savagery. A local Pastor opens the doors of his church to help them survive, putting himself, his family and his career in jeopardy.
Williston, North Dakota is the center of the Bakken Shale oil boom. The town and surrounding region is industrializing on a scale unparalleled in recent American history. Not since the Alaska pipeline boom of the 1970s have working class Americans migrated in such great numbers in search of high wage work. But what does it take to give up everything and set out to remake yourself? Is this new oil boom the economic salvation of America’s disenfranchised working class?
While the headlines tout a simplistic narrative of boomtown opportunity, the reality is far messier and complicated. Many of the people moving to North Dakota are not skilled workers with oil field experience who can expect to be housed at comfortable “man camps.” In their vast diversity, they are representative of America itself: recent immigrants, single mothers, unemployed PhDs, dreamers and deadbeats. Most arrive in Williston with nothing: no job, no money, and in some cases, nowhere to live.
This is their story.
Winner – U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Intuitive Filmmaking – 2014 Sundance Film Festival
New York Premiere – 2014 Tribeca Film Festival
Official Selection – 2014 San Francisco International Film Festival
Official Selection – 2014 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Winner – Knight Competition – Best Documentary 2014 Miami International Film Festival
Official Selection – 2014 Mountainfilm Festival
Official Selection – 2014 Sheffield Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection – 2014 AFI Docs