Utne Reader Film Reviews

| Jan.-Feb. 2008

Black Diamonds: Mountaintop Removal And The Fight For Coalfield Justice

(Bullfrog Films; on DVD)

Mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia is uprooting not only nature, but people too. Black Diamonds documents the struggles of West Virginia mining towns whose intimate relationship with coal is scraping away their communities. Filmmaker Catherine Pancake interviews residents seeking permanence as eerily close blasts send clouds of particulates over their homes. Impassioned local activists, she reveals, are no match for the coal industry and its allies in the current administration. While Black Diamonds could be better at highlighting the big picture—the glaring ethical injustice of fueling our energy consumption by devastating one of our poorest states—it brings visibility to a group of people whose lives have been marred by the insatiable lust for fuel. —Anna Cynar



Czech Dream