presentsCoal Country, West Virginia is filled with workers whose way of life has been ingrained for generation after generation. It proves to put food on the table but at what cost to personal health and the destruction of the environment in what is most definitely a dying industry. In this tumultuous election season, we saw a lot of promises. Locals voted to make their lives better, and we all cross our fingers that it doesn’t end up being against their own self-interest in the end.
From the filmmakers behind The Appalachians and Coal Country, Blood on the Mountain is a searing investigation into the economic and environmental injustices that have resulted from industrial control in West Virginia. This feature documentary details the struggles of a hard-working, misunderstood people, who have historically faced limited choices and have never benefited fairly from the rich, natural resources of their land. Blood On The Mountain delivers a striking portrait of a fractured population, exploited and besieged by corporate interests, and abandoned by the powers elected to represent them.
Directed by Mari-Lynn Evans and Jordan Freeman, and produced by Deborah Wallace, Mari-Lynn Evans and Jordan Freeman, BLOOD ON THE MOUNTAIN gives the rest of the country a taste of the poverty and feeling of isolationism in the region. It’s a constant struggle between the big money the industry rakes in and the plight of the little guy. With a mix of historical footage and sit down interviews, the doc takes the viewer into the very lives adversely affected by their everyday circumstances and the individuals formerly responsible for their safety (who are ripe with conflict of interest). Abandoned by the very corporations that come in to use the workers until the mountains are all blown to hell and the mines are empty. The almighty dollar is far more important than the life of the people. It’s nothing but economic exploitation over and over. It’s easy to judge from the outside. Much like the Detroit, someone who cares and wants to give these folks a real new beginning, has a wonderful opportunity to come in and set up shop. Bring hope to these threatened lives. With renewable energy costing less and less each year, we as a people are moving away from destruction and towards the future. Riddled with corruption by the local government since the start of the industry, why would any local vote for a candidate being touted as “elite” and “Washington insider”, regardless of a record of working her entire life for the betterment of families? I have a hard time believing that a man, whose entire life has revolved around himself and making money off the backs of hard-working people, a man high in his towering glass highrise, is going to keep the promises he made. Maybe this will finally be the hard lesson coal country needs to learn, but what an awful loss that’s coming along the way.
BLOOD ON THE MOUNTAIN, opens in NY & LA theaters November 18th.
RT: 90 Minutes