As the international petroleum market becomes increasingly unstable while demand remains high, a number of oil companies have been using new drilling technology to access oil deposits in America that were previously beyond their reach. Stanley, North Dakota is a small town that's been transformed by the discovery of an estimated 200 billions barrels of crude oil brought to the surface by new drilling methods; almost overnight, farmers who struggled for decades to turn a profit became multi-millionaires by selling the mineral rights to their land, and a hamlet of 1,300 enjoyed an economic boom in the midst of a recession. But Stanley's new prosperity comes with a price, as powerful multi-national corporations scramble to buy up as much of the town as they can and motels and boarding houses are filled with roughnecks and oil field workers who play as hard as they work, bringing with them new kinds of crime that were little known in Stanley. Filmmaker Noah Hutton explores the positive and negative sides of Stanley, North Dakota's new prosperity in the documentary Crude Independence, which was honored as Best Documentary at the 2009 Oxford Film Festival.
by Mark Deming synopsis