Director: Bill Haney
Summary: It’s easy to forget that each time we turn on a light, we are contributing to the ecological damage caused by the coal that generates electricity in this country. The Last Mountain gives us plenty of reasons to remember. Contaminated air, soil, and water; coal dust, cancer clusters, and toxic sludge are all by-products of this widespread energy source.
Focusing on the devastating effects of mountaintop coal removal in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley, filmmaker Bill Haney illustrates the way residents and activists are standing up to the industry and major employer that is so deeply embedded in the region. With strong support from Bobby Kennedy Jr. and grassroots organizations, awareness is rising in the battle over Appalachian mountaintop mining. Forces are aligning to prevent coal removal on Coal River Mountain and preserve the region’s precious natural resources. Superb storytelling and exquisite photography combine to remind us that this environmental calamity impacts us all.
Excitement scale (1-10): 5 – No one can doubt Bell Haney’s activist mentality. His films generally attempt to confront the mainstream public with major issues caused by our everyday actions. His films are honest, providing messages usually necessary for the public to discuss, but they are a bit too ‘in your face’ for general audiences. Depending on his approach, this could be really good or just another run of the mill activist minded film.