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.
- 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