October 30, 2014

The Last Mountain Screens at Topanga Library on Dec. 7

 

In the valleys of Appalachia, a battle is being fought over a mountain. It is a battle with consequences that affect every American, regardless of their economic background or where they live. It is a battle over protecting our health and environment from the destructive power of Big Coal. A documentary about this struggle, The Last Mountain, will screen as the Topanga Peace Alliance First Friday Film on Dec. 7, 8 p.m., at the Topanga Canyon Library.

The mining and burning of coal, which provides nearly half of America’s electricity, is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with environmental concerns. Nowhere is that concern greater than in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, where corporations like Massey Energy continue the devastating practice of Mountain Top Removal.

The practice of dynamiting the mountain’s top off to mine the coal within pollutes the air and water and spreads pollution to other states. Yet, regardless of evidence supporting these claims, Big Coal corporations repeat the process daily. Massive profit allows Big Coal to wield incredible financial influence over lobbyists and government officials in both parties, rewrite environmental protection laws and avoid lawsuits and eliminate more than 40,000 mining jobs, all while claiming to be a miner’s best friend. As our energy needs increase, so does Big Coal’s control over our future. This fact and a belief that America was founded on the democratic principal that no individual or corporation owns the air and water and we all share the responsibility of protecting it, drives these citizens and their supporters from outside of Appalachia, like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., to keep fighting.

A passionate and personal tale that honors the extraordinary power of ordinary Americans when they fight for what they believe in, The Last Mountain shines a light on America’s energy needs and how those needs are being supplied. It is a fight for our future that affects us all.

Written, directed and produced by Bill Haney, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder and president of the eco-housing start-up, Blu Homes, The Last Mountain was co-written and edited by Peter Rhodes and produced by Clara Bingham and Eric Grunebaum. Narrated by William Sadler, the film features original music by composer Claudio Ragazzi and includes the song “Your Control” by Crooked Fingers and Neko Case.

The Last Mountain screens on Dec. 7 at the Topanga Library, 122 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., 90290. There will be a cheese/veggie potluck at 7:45 p.m., with the film screening at 8p.m. A discussion follows the screening. A $10 donation is requested, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. For further information, contact Julie Levine at (310) 455-9389.