Let's All Go Watch Mountains Blow Up??
This weekend, an extremely powerful movie, The Last Mountain, is opening up in New York and Washington D.C. (other cities following throughout the next few weeks.) How do I know that it is a powerful movie? On one hand, I had the privilege of viewing the movie and was very impressed with the film; on the other hand I watched Steven Colbert discuss it with Robert Kennedy Jr. yesterday (skip to minute 15).
Mountain top removal is the practicing where coal companies dynamite the tops of mountains to access the coal streams below. The excess is then pushed into the local valley, covering up critical streams. According to the movie's website, "Mountain top removal has destroyed 500 Appalachian Mountains, decimated 1 million acres of forest, and buried 2000 miles of streams."
Frances Beineckie from the Natural Resource Defense Council provided excellent commentary on the movie today on her blog.
"What I found so moving was the way the movie portrays what it's like for people who live in the shadow of companies that devour mountains. This kind of mining doesn't just wreck the environment; it damages people's lives, their homes, their schools, and their communities.
In the film, Bo Webb talks about returning to his hometown to enjoy quiet country living only to be greeted by daily rounds of detonations. Imagine the explosive power it takes to blow the top of a mountain; now imagine hearing that above your home. Webb describes the boulders and rain of dust that fall down the mountainsides into people's property.
Maria Gunnoe remembers the afternoon when four inches of rain fell on her town, and because the mountaintops had been scraped down to rock, there was no soil or trees to capture and slow the water. It funneled right into her hollow with such ferocity she thought her family would drown. They survived, but homes throughout the community were inundated with flood waters."
The Torah commands us "When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees of the field people, that you should besiege them?" If in battle, we are not supposed to cut down are tree, isn't it even more imperative that we not cause such damage when we are at peace?
For those in New York, you can buy tickets at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Houston Street.
For those in Washington, DC, you can buy tickets at the Landmark E Street Cinema.
For everyone else check out the website for Last Mountain to see when it is coming to a city near you.