Sunday, July 20, 2008

[indyweek] Michael O'Connell's Mountain Top Removal raised awareness of coal mining practices

by Matt Saldaña
Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
July 16, 2008

When Al Gore presented Pittsboro, N.C., filmmaker Michael O'Connell with the award for best documentary at this year's Nashville Film Festival, he didn't just rattle off a prepared speech and smile for the photo-op. The former vice president, once berated for his lack of visible emotion, nearly choked up onstage as he recalled the plight of Ed Wiley, the protagonist in Mountain Top Removal, O'Connell's film about a devastating method of coal mining in Southern Appalachia.

I was telling Ed that his campaign to get a new school, because of the terrible impact of mountaintop removal, is really part and parcel of the same kind of struggle that I and others have been involved in, to try to get a solution to the global climate crisis," Gore said, before inviting Wiley onstage. "It's the same fight, really."

[View the entire article at the Independent Weekly.]