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The Last Mountain

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

THE LAST MOUNTAIN is a spellbinding tour along the frontlines of America's most spirited battle over the environment and the economy. Set deep in the heart of Appalachian West Virginia, this consciousness-raising film captures a rowdy band of citizens as they try to stop a giant coal company from blowing up a pristine mountain for its coal. A tale of greed and courage, folly and forward-thinking, THE LAST MOUNTAIN is brimming with the coal hard facts and vivid testimony from the hardscrabble people whose lives are intertwined with coal.

Featuring environmental activist and lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr. and the stunning visuals of Appalachia, THE LAST MOUNTAIN is informative, stirring, and most importantly, inspiring (Hollywood Reporter). Not only a searing indictment of America's energy policy, this powerful film also points the way to a brighter, greener future.

Special Features

  • Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
  • Artist PSAs in support of The Last Mountain: Emmylou Harris, Naomi Judd, Kathy Mattea
  • Official Trailer


The Last Mountain is an environmental documentary about mountain-top-removal coal mining, but it is also an exploration of the threat that strong corporations can pose to democracy. Set in the stunning Appalachians, The Last Mountain chronicles how coal company Massey Energy is currently blowing the tops off of mountains to collect coal, dumping the waste into local gullies and man-made storage lakes, and then "reconstructing" the mountain tops. The negative effects of this coal-mining practice are huge, including everything from deforestation, increased local flooding, and deteriorating water quality to negative health impacts such as increased rates of cancer, autism, asthma, and premature death in local populations. The process even contributes to job loss, thanks to its highly mechanized nature. The film goes on to describe the extensive influence Massey Energy has over local government, and the even wider influence of the coal-mining industry on countrywide government, highlighting the negative environmental and political ramifications of such unchecked power. Juxtaposed with that enormous political clout are a host of local citizens, among them a waitress, a former marine, a 92-year-old grandmother, and a school-age child and her grandfather, who've banded together with the help of environmental activist and lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to oppose mountain-top-removal coal mining. They are joined in their protest by Climate Ground Zero, a group of environmentalists from around the United States who are committed to using nonviolent, civil disobedience to fight what they consider to be a crime against humanity. The film features interviews of individuals from Massey Energy, local government, the Appalachian community, and Climate Ground Zero, as well as Kennedy. Local citizen Lorelei Scarbro's proposal for an alternative, completely sustainable and renewable wind-energy project is explored, along with a similar project that's been highly effective in the community of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Reference is also made to the recent gains for sustainable energy made under the Obama administration, but while the film celebrates the power of a few individuals to make a difference, it ends with the disheartening reality that mining continues and current government efforts are simply not enough to protect the last remaining mountain in Appalachia. The footage of Appalachia in this film is both stunningly beautiful and horrifically disturbing, and the message that everyone on earth is connected to, and affected by, this issue is crystal clear. Bonus features consist of 51 minutes of outtakes and deleted scenes that include many powerful interviews with local individuals and Kennedy, as well as a closer look at the Portsmouth wind-power project. The "Question and Answer" segment with director Bill Haney and Kennedy was taped following a June 9, 2011, screening of the film and is really misnamed--it's actually two roughly 12-minute speeches by Bill Haney and Kennedy, followed by a discussion sparked by one audience member's fear that America's reliance on coal might someday be replaced by the equally dangerous prospect of nuclear power. The DVD also includes artist public service announcements by Emmylou Harris, Naomi Judd, and Kathy Mattea, as well as the official film trailer, a filmmaker biography, and basic information about film company Docurama. --Tami Horiuchi

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Kennedy Jr.
  • Directors: Bill Haney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0055V6EX6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,410 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm honestly not a big fan of documentaries but this one was certainly an exception and I highly recommend your seeing this.

Knowing little about the subject before seeing the film I watched with great fascination this moving true story about a communities struggle to save a mountain in Appalachia.

In the end I found I had been been given an introduction to the consequences of this nations consistently destructive environmental policies that allow corporate polluters to get away with destroying entire communities and wreaking havoc with natural resources that belong to the public.

This film deserves to be seen and by a much wider audience! People should see what these Coal polluting companies are doing to our environment and once they do I 'm sure they'll understand why they should all be just shut down and advocate this nation moving toward a more efficient energy policy, and one that does not destroy entire landscapes.
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Format: DVD
I live in East Tennessee, not far from the site of the coal ash spill of recent. I had heard of what goes on up in the mountains, but I hadn't seen much of it (thankfully we have the National Park). This is a beautifully executed documentary that shines light on the evils of what is going on. It could have been a political bashing, but it wasn't. It was a story about people who are often cast out of society because of lack of education and a pervading social stigma that they aren't as good as the rest; however, one of the most powerful men in America practically lived with these people. Robert Kennedy Jr. shed light on an inconvenient truth: the coal companies aren't bringing wealth to Appalachian, they are draining it. The turning point for me is when Mr. Kennedy says to a top coal man that if they are bringing so much prosperity to West Virginia, why is it one of the poorest states in the country?
Overall, this is a wonderful, shining documentary. Thank you Mr. Kennedy.
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Format: DVD
The Last Mountain is a documentary about mountain top coal mining in the Appalachian mountains and the effects it has not only on the environment, but on the small communities that call those mountains home. Boosted by the support of environmental lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr., the people affected share their stories and their anger toward the mining companies that are destroying their homes and livelihood.

Though the movie is very anti-coal in general, I found it to be very eye opening to large cooperation greed. Massey Energy is the guilty one here, led by a money hungry CEO who fed the wallets of local and White House politicians to overlook all of the policy and codes they were breaking. Unfortunately, there is an inner battle within these mountain valley towns because they are extremely poor and most of the jobs are in coal mining. But Massey banned unions so they could pay lower wages and have slowly been eliminating massive numbers of jobs and replacing those workers with "more efficient" machinery. Not to mention the horribly low amount of taxes they pay to these communities.

But the townsfolk have worked the mines for generations; they think it is their honor and they do not see the true disservice their own employer is doing to them and their families. While they battle each other, their neighbors are dying (6 deaths from brain tumors in one town caused by polluted well water), their air is not clean to breathe, their communities are disappearing (the piece about one ghost town with just two people left living in it was heart wrenching), and their mountains are disappearing too.

Kennedy says it best in the film, "My kids wake up and have to breathe bad air today because some company paid a politician a whole bunch of money.
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Format: DVD
Bill Haney's provocative documentary "The Last Mountain" takes a very pronounced stand against coal mining in general and the destruction of the Appalachian Mountain region specifically. It's a vitally important topic in terms of environmental studies that has long range repercussions in the worlds of politics and big business, and it has been an on-going debate for as many years as I can remember. I have probably seen two dozen films or television projects about the dangers of Mountain Top Removal mining and the irresponsibility of those that have performed it. With only one range left unsullied, "The Last Mountain" chronicles the fight of the local West Virginia residents and outside environmentalists and activists against the coal conglomerates. It is a very angry documentary, well constructed if decidedly one-sided, that is relentlessly bleak for most of its running time. Health concerns, mining disasters, pollution, damage to property, community destruction--there is a veritable onslaught of catastrophes that the inhabitants of local communities have endured. It isn't until the last third of the film, however, that an alternate solution and energy proposal is introduced. I wish that it had been brought up earlier in the film to shed some light to the darkness.

The locals and the movie have a real champion in Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Kennedy has been in this fight quite some time and is a worthy celebrity advocate. It is fascinating to see him go into debate mode with protesting coal supporters. I can see why Haney wanted to include Kennedy as much as possible to help raise awareness of the issues and to heighten the profile of the documentary. It is a sound decision that actually backfires a bit.
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