Review: Burning the Future (Docurama; on DVD)

Blowing the Top Off Big Coal


| November-December 2009


The amount of coal we use is a problem; the way we obtain it, by ripping the tops off mountains, is unconscionable. The documentary Burning the Future wears these hard-to-contest opinions on its sleeve, yet it gives plenty of airtime to advocates for Big Coal as it explores the practice of mountaintop-removal coal mining. Despite reassurances that all is well, it’s the aggrieved locals whose words ring true, and in the end the film serves as a stark portrait of an industry whose days are numbered.