• Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:27:32View | Delete

    thanks for your time, folks. and thanks again to Clara for such an important and compelling film!

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:27:05View | Delete

    Vietnam just exported its first shipments of coal! oh no, you’re hooked. And I hope you meet my friend Wayne Karlin, one of the best Vietnam veterans and novelists, who edited a series of books by Vietnamese vets.

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:23:02View | Delete

    How do you follow up such an epic film…and smashing success? Are you at work on a new book, or are you looking to produce a new film?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:22:02View | Delete

    And in truth, we could end MTR coal production tomorrow and replace it with coal from the other 23 coal mining states, or simply not export it. MTR coal is less than 8 percent of all national production, and a lot of it heads overseas as Clara says.

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:19:32View | Delete

    One of the largest solar farms in the US is opening in the strip pits of southern Ohio. And now far from my own southern IL coalfields, a new factory to produce wind turbines is in the works–with 600 jobs.

    In terms of central Appalachia, the JOBS Project in Mingo County, WV has made some great inroads in training unemployed coal miners.

    Job retraining for energy efficiency measures—retrofitting homes, businesses, etc–is booming in CA. Why not central Appalachia?

    What we need is ONE factory in Coal River Valley. A small $5 million factory to build wind turbines and provide them to the northern WV market. Once we had a model factory, the idea is that the dominos would fall.

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:15:25View | Delete

    Let’s talk a bit about Massey. Wonderful villain. Do you think Blankenship’s utter evilness helped to reach certain audiences?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:10:02View | Delete

    We talk a lot about a “just transition” in the coalfields, such as a special coalfield regeneration fund for retraining coal miners(on energy efficiency projects), clean energy manufacturing (building wind turbines and solar panels) and industrial wind and solar farms. But all of that takes money. A lot of money and investment. And all of the clean energy money is essentially directed to non-coalfield communities.

    How do we begin to coax venture capitalists, with the help of RFK, JR and Al Gore, both of whom sit on major boards, to jumpstart investment for the coalfields?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 18:02:24View | Delete

    In many respects, the anti-mountaintop removal movement has reached a certain impasse–the EPA put out its regulatory guidelines, which are good but limited; a bill in Congress is stuck. Do you think it really comes down to intervention by President Obama to abolish MTR once and for all—and if so, what do you really think it will take? A disaster? Or, rather, an even greater disaster?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:54:00View | Delete

    Talk a little about the main difficulties in filming? Did Bill stick to the script for the most part, or did you find the story breaking with the news?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:52:13View | Delete

    BevW,

    While stripmining goes back to the 1850s, mountaintop removal official got its grove in 1970. Sen. Byrd was a diehard supporter, until his last year in his office, when he acknowledged the coal industry needed to embrace a different approach. WV Rep. Ken Hechler, on the other hand, held the first hearing against MTR in 1970, introduced the main bills against strip mining, and continues to fight against it today–at the age of 96!

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:46:18View | Delete

    Eagle Creek, in the Shawnee Forests of southern Illinois, on the Kentucky border. 200 years of history lost. I’ll take you to its ruins one day.

    In the meantime, how has the film changed your own life—as a consumer, as a writer, and now an advocate for central Appalachia?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:41:33View | Delete

    Is it film to say your film ultimately asks: Do you know where your electricity comes from and who pays the price? And did you ever think about those questions prior to your first visit to WV? (I ask this, because even as someone from a coal mining family, I never asked that question until my own family’s historic homeplace was stripmined in 1999.)

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:37:58View | Delete

    Tell us a bit more about the reaction to the film at Sundance, and at urban centers like Seattle and Boston and NYC that seems to removed from coalfield politics…did the audiences seem astonished, shocked, angered…or indifferent to the daily realities of those who live in the coalfields?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:34:32View | Delete

    as a journalist who has covered this issue for years, do you feel the environmental issues overshadowed the health and human rights issues…which seem to be making more headlines now?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:28:59View | Delete

    You mentioned earlier that commercial theatres in WV wouldn’t consider running a film on MTR, largely due to the politics (I assume). Prior to your showing at Sundance, did you find that distributors were shying away from the film, as well, due to its perceived controversial topics? Or, on the other hand, that most Americans would not be interested in a film on strip mining in WV?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:25:10View | Delete

    As you noted in your recent piece in MS Mag, women have played a leading role in the anti-mountaintop removal movement, and in coal country in general. How did you select the main characters for the film?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:22:11View | Delete

    Did you have much of a turn out of coal industry people and miners–such as WV Coal Association head Bill Haney, who is featured in the film? And has there been much dialogue generated by the film in places like WV and KY?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:15:39View | Delete

    Last Mountain is the first film on mountaintop removal to get nationwide distribution in the theatres. But first I was curious at the reception of the film in coal country–such as your opening in Charleston, WV?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:08:13View | Delete

    While folks are logging on and getting caught up on the film, perhaps you can tell us a little how you first learned about mountaintop removal and strip mining and what made you pursue this project as producer?

  • Jeff Biggers commented on the blog post FDL Movie Night – The Last Mountain

    2011-06-27 17:05:44View | Delete

    Where are you now, Clara? Still on the road with the film or in NYC?

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