Documentary "Blood on the Mountain"
I wrote about "Blood on the Mountain" most recently here. From today's LA Times review of the documentary which just opened in Los Angeles:
Using interviews, archival clips, and a timeline of headlines and news footage, it tells a tale of violent capitalism on the one hand, as the history of unforgiving company towns and hard-fought unionizing gave way to an environmentally devastated land of terrible poverty and health issues. It’s also a story of sheer injustice on the other, with workers’ rights being stripped away over the years as billions in profits went elsewhere.
The movie is practically a textbook about how ravenous corporations and feckless government can strip-mine the souls of workers, and replace them with a political narrative about their problems that keeps reality forever hidden behind a fine, dusty fog.
Again, I hope somebody will sponsor the showing of this film locally.
The New Yorker revisits West Virginia Trump Country
Here's the New Yorker's post-election follow-up to their balanced, extended piece on why Logan County was Trump Country in early October. (I wrote about it here.)
But West Virginians are used to being different from the rest of the country, so in August no one there thought that enthusiasm in Logan necessarily meant enthusiasm anywhere else. In this case, though, they were more mainstream than they knew.
As with the original, the author treats her subjects with respect.
More coverage of Wilbur Ross
Finally, additional news outlets are beginning to look more closely at Trump's rumored choice for the Secretary of Commerce position, Wilbur Ross. (See next post down.) From the Huffington Post earlier today:
“It’s really the height of hypocrisy when people are counting on you to turn around the economy for them and to bring back coal jobs that you’re naming someone who’s never done anything to help working-class people,” attorney Tony Oppegard, a former mine safety official who now represents miners in his private practice, told The Huffington Post. “Trump portraying himself as the savior of the working class was just a con job.”
Update - November 18
The New York Times weighs in on "Blood on the Mountain":
“Blood on the Mountain” is a clumsily made attack on the coal industry in West Virginia, but it benefits considerably from the events of the past two weeks. . . .
Bruce Stanley, a lawyer who has represented clients suing coal companies, uses a war analogy. “The war is the one that coal has waged on West Virginia for the last 150 years,” he says as the camera pans a desolate landscape. “You don’t believe it’s a war? You go find a battleground that’s as war-torn and scarred as the mountaintops of southern West Virginia. You go find a place where more explosives are set off in a month anywhere on earth.”
The film may be one-sided, but if nothing else, it is a reminder that the “coal equals jobs” equation is a serious oversimplification.