‘The Last Mountain’ DVD Review
The Last Mountain, the latest DVD released by Docuramafilms, is a roughly hour and a half documentary over the plight of a small town trying to protect the last intact mountain, Coal River Mountain, in the Appalachians of West Virginia from a coal company who have taken up mountain top blasting. The Last Mountain premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and now is being widely released on DVD.
The film offers eyeopening and real consequences involved in coal mining. Honestly, it is not something that I gave that much thought to. We all use electricity, so we all need coal. Although alternatives have been attempted, coal mining is still the number one way that people in the United States get their power. The film focuses on a few small towns and their activitists, from the woman who was tired of the effect that mountain top blasting was having on her immediate environment, to the woman who was tired of the clusters of brain tumors in one small neighborhood, the film follows their fights from protests, to city hall, to beyond. The Last Mountain also features Robert Kennedy, Jr. as he tries to assist the town in their effort against Big Coal. Many of the townspeople and activists featured went on to win awards for their efforts. There was even a solution proposed in place of coal mining.
The statistics alone were riveting. Finding out exactly how much coal is needed and how much of that coal is mined in the Appalachian Mountains alone was startling. However, what was most persuasive to me was to actually see the before and after effect of mountain top blasting. The change in the topography of the land was disheartening. It was amazing to see this small group of townspeople fighting against something much larger than them, sometimes going against local officials and politicians, and never giving up their cause. The people featured are true activists, although I gather they would think they are only doing what they need to in order to protect their family, their town and their lives. This is a movie that will make you think. Every time you turn on a light, use a computer, or watch TV, it will be hard not to think of Coal River Mountain and the people working to protect it.
Along with the film, the DVD offers extras including:
Outtakes and deleted scenes – definitely a lot on this one, rolling in at a total of 51 minutes
Q&A with Director Bill Haney & Robert Kennedy, Jr. in Nashville, TN in June of 2011 – about 33 minutes long discussing the movie but more of a speech than Q&A
Artist PSAs – about 11 minutes long featuring Emmy Lou Harris, Naomi Judd and Kathy Mattea
Official Trailer – about 3 minutes long
Filmmaker Bio – a still resume about the filmmaker
The Last Mountain is a life changing film. It talks about something so common to everyone, power, and then shows an almost behind-the-scenes viewpoint as to how something we take for granted on a daily basis is actually produced and how our luxury may actually be harming others. Although it felt a bit preachy at some parts, the overall message was necessary so I gave it a pass. If anything, it made me appreciate the windmills that I have seen popping up in my area. Check it out and tell me what you thought.