See Blood on the Mountain December 16 to 22 in Washington, D.C. Details here.
Appalachia might be known for its beautiful mountain ranges and lush forests in the popular imagination, but in reality, it’s plagued by long-term poverty, political corruption, a devastating lack of health care, and inadequate educational systems. The natural resources—coal, timber, oil, gas—have generated billions of dollars, but the money went to companies in other states, leaving the region in shambles. Mari-Lynn Evans and Jordan Freeman’s new documentary Blood on the Mountain details the struggles of the hard-working West Virginia coal miners besieged by political corruption and corporate malfeasance, all while their own homes and lives are being railroaded by the interests of the 1%.
Congratulations to Mari-Lynn Evans and Jordan Freeman on the theatrical release and the great reviews of their documentary, Blood on the Mountain. It screened in New York and Los Angeles in November, in Houston on December 2, and will screen in Washington, D.C. December 16-22. We don’t yet know whether the film will hit theaters in WV, but we do know that OVEC plans to screen the film next year.
A Los Angeles Times review says, “The movie is practically a textbook about how ravenous corporations and feckless government can strip-mine the souls of workers, and replace them with a political narrative about their problems that keeps reality forever hidden behind a fine, dusty fog.”
In the film, West Virginia University history professor Chuck Keeney says, “Industrialists have been historically able to get away with doing just about whatever they want without any consequences. And, if a few hillbillies get killed in the name of progress? So be it.”
There’s an appearance by then-Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D), who on the senate floor says, “Let’s start with the truth… The cheap, easy coal seams are diminishing rapidly, and it’s a disservice, a terrible disservice, to coal miners and their families to pretend that everything can be as it was. It can’t be. That’s over.”
In a statement about the movie, Mari-Lyn says, “At no time in my proud people’s history have we needed to be armed with this truth more. Faced with enormous challenges—economically, environmentally, and socially—the people of West Virginia must forge a new path armed with hope and inspired by the strength of their own spirit. But hope and inspiration alone will not change the economy or recover the environment that a century of fossil-fuel industry has left broken, and it will not forge a new beginning. Only an educated and activated population engaged and participating in the betterment of their community will effect these sorely needed changes.”
Several OVEC members are in the film, including Chuck Nelson, and Terry and Wilma Steele. The same can be said for Mari-Lyn Evan’s earlier, excellent documentary, Coal Country.
If you watch these films, you’ll definitely get an education and you might well be inspired to action. We sure hope that’s the case!