Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Phylis Geller
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Studio: Music Video Dist Release Date: 11/10/2009
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"Harlan County, USA" of the 21st century
Stephen Fesenmaier | charleston, wv USA | 10/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the leading promoter of films about West Virginia since 1978, I have purchased, distributed, exhibited, reviewed, and done everything I could to help West Virginia and Appalachian filmmmakers. I worked on "Matewan" for four years with John Sayles and got to know Arnold Miller, the hero of "Harlan County, USA"(1977)which I consider to be the finest US documentary possibly ever.
Mari-Lynn Evans, the producer of this film and the award-winning "The Appalachians" series shown on national PBS and a native of West Virginia, has produced a film that should be compared to Barbara Kopple's "Harlan" masterpiece.The courage that Ms. Evans showed facing true death threats and violence, just as Kopple did while making "Harlan," is historical in the annals of Appalachian filmmaking.
This film truly shows the conflict in contemporary Appalachia about mining coal, the source for half of America's energy. The technicals - cinematography, sound, script, etc. - are all of Oscar quality. The film shows BOTH SIDES of the conflict, unlike any of the many other good, recent films on contemporary coal mining.( I have seen all of the films about MTR and they are posted at many places including at OVEC.)
Anyone concerned about the future of U.S. energy policy should see this film. Hopefully public library, colleges, and community groups around the country and world will see this film and learn about the devastation that is taking place in the lives of people who live in Appalachia. I pity the poor creatures, from the water streams to the bear and deer, that have died because of MTR. The miners themselves have suffered working on MTR mines, and of course, virtually all of the area has physically been destroyed. There is no other place on earth that has suffered like the MTR-demolished mountains of Appalachia.
The film recently won the award as "best film" at the 2009 West Virginia Filmmakers Festival and Ms. Evans for nominated as 2009 WV Filmmaker of the Year. It has also been shown at many other prestigious film festivals. A book and CD will also be released shortly.
Note - I helped do research on this film and "The Appalachians" and was supposed to hold the world premiere of the film last July 12th in South Charleston. I have seen the entire film and did include it in my 2009 official list of movies on WV and Appalachia published in Goldenseal magazine. [...]
Devastation in West Virginia
Patricia Crandall | Niantic, Ct | 12/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great film because it shows the devastation wrought on the people and the land of southern West Virginia. This is devastation on a monstrous scale, and all American citizens should be aware of it. It does affect our water supply because the Appalachian streams feed the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. These waters are being poisoned by the mining operations. This is why I am donating this film to my local library. I don't believe most Americans are aware of mountaintop mining."
Good at presenting one side
Stephanie Phillips | Blacksburg, VA | 12/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"you can't claim that this film presents both sides when it spends about 10 minutes on the "other side" AKA the side that the makers disagree with. it was great at presenting the issue as it really is, though. every man in my family has been a coal miner and seeing my grandfather with chronic black lung brings some perspective.....its an interesting issue. any documentary that sheds light on appalachia is a good thing, but this could have been a little less biased."