This is a documentary film about a modern-day gold rush and thus our focus will be primarily on the people flocking to make quick money and the local communities overwhelmed by the change.
The scenario here is multifaceted and is not just a simple struggle of good versus evil, since the boom has not been without positive effects. While the residents of Western North Dakota are indeed tragically losing their way of life, the important thing is that the very people who are flooding into these towns for work have come in order to preserve their own lives. Predominately men, their paychecks are going to pay mortgages in Montana, Idaho, Ohio, and other areas of the country stricken with catastrophic unemployment. They have come to the oil fields so their family can keep the house, their kids can continue going to the same school- so that one day they will be able to return home holding their heads high. We see their arrival to the harsh working and living conditions of North Dakota, many from the other end of the country -a distance greater than Paris to Moscow- as something reminiscent of the 1920’s depression era and a testament to how far people will go to save their way of life.