The Last Mountain (2011) Poster

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Should be viewed buy all West Virginians
skyhawku30 December 2011
I am a retired factory worker, and past local union president, who was born and raised in West Virginia.

I asked my wife to get me The Last Mountain movie for Xmas after I had seen a trailer about it. We watched it this evening and I think it is the best Xmas present I received. I have 3 friends who are WV Legislators, and know Sen. Joe Manchin personally. I must say there were many things in the movie I did not know. I also think there are many West Virginia residents who need to be informed of all the facts surrounding this issue. Maybe enough public pressure could offset the lobbyist money on I am a retired factory worker, and past local union president, who was born and raised in the political front.
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A Stunning Movie with a Terrible, and Terribly Urgent, Message
gwknapper3 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Appalachia literally is being destroyed, forever, by Big Coal through the use of mountain top mining – the most economical and profitable (for the Coal Companies), and most horrendously environmentally destructive of the various methods available for extracting coal from the earth.

The film is beautifully shot and has a cast of compelling characters – from the few local die-hards who refuse to leave their homes in the wake of the on-going destruction, to Robert Kennedy, Jr. who comes to the area to lend his long-term support as an environmental lawyer/activist and Public Icon, to the smooth-talking Big Coal PR Rep who appears in the film to give the Companies' line, to the shadowy, Big Brother-like figure of Don Blankenship, the then-head of Massey Coal, the largest strip-mining company in the country.

The film makes two especially vital points (among many others): everyone in this country gets some electricity from coal, and coal mining is literally obliterating, forever, an entire ecosystem here in the United States.
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Another testament to why money should have nothing to do with politics
Jens Wegar7 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was an eye opener for me, but not because I didn't know mountain top removal has a terrible impact on the ecosystem, but because for the first time a documentary managed to give me a better understanding of why people become activists. It's the measure you take to as a peaceful person when all other means fail. One of the most moving moments is when an 11 year old girl goes to the governors office with her uncle to give him a donation for building a new school, away from the massive risk that a coal silo in the back yard of her current school and a waste slug lake(!) further on poses to all of the children. I must say, when a 11 year old has to fight her cause by pulling a publicity stunt because an adult politician is in the pockets of the coal industry, we as adults have failed miserably.

Of course you also get to hear the view of the coal miners for a little bit, but this documentary is clearly biased in that it's against the coal industry. I would have liked to hear more views from the average worker, because their concerns are very real also. They need to get food on the table and the coal industry provides the means to do so. Wind farms might produce more work, but you frankly can't expect a coal worker to become wind mill experts just like that. Inevitably, a lot of the workers would not be retrained and they'd loose their job. The issues and their solutions are never black and white, they're always gray.

Visual quality is what you expect it to be for a documentary that collects it's material from several sources. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's very grainy. The graphics were nice, but sometimes changed a bit too quick for me to be able to read everything.

One point deduction comes from the sound. I didn't like that music was played in the background when people were telling their opinions. As a person who doesn't speak English natively, some of the accents are hard enough to understand without music added to the mixture.

Overall though the message is an important one and I hope this film is able to provide another platform for it to be heard.
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An Important Message... Please go see this movie.
larryrnfg18 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As someone who grew up in the Appalachian Mountains, I had to go see this movie... even though when I left I said I would NEVER look back. This movie brought back memories of a land of great beauty and diversity which has, somehow, been overcome by people who care nothing for the land, the diversity of life, or the people who live there.

This movie carries an important message about each citizen's responsibility to watch over their fellow citizens. You may not be able to easily identify with people living in communities so different from your own. You may not easily identify with people who speak with a strong regional accent, but I ask you to try.

Go see this movie and ask yourself if you would allow your Mother, Father, Grandparents, or Children to live in these once-beautiful mountains.

Now for the movie. It is basically very well done covering not only the Appalachian Mountains, but the entire country. The video quality slides from decent to grainy and the sound quality is less than I had hoped for, however it is a documentary, and therefore gets some leeway. On the upside, the music and people are so real, it made me feel ashamed for having left them to fight on alone without a needed native son.

For the first time, I found young activists and their messages compelling. As a "child of the sixties", this is saying something. I maneuvered the entire sixties era without much more than an arm band or two. These young people believe strongly in what they are trying to do, but they need help. Help that did not arrive in my era. Help that I, in my cynicism, predicted would not arrive in the sixties. Will it arrive now, in what may be our last hour and last/best chance?

Please go see this movie and think about what will happen to millions of Americans if none of us has the time to think about poisoning the water supply in the Appalachian Mountains and downstream all the way to New Orleans.

Are Corporate Profits really so important? Are "We the People" really so insignificant?
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