Viewing: March 18,2020
Director: Tom Hansell & Elizabeth Barret
In Celebration of 50 years of Appalshop!
The Electricity Fairy by Tom Hansell (52 min)
Coal produces half of America’s electricity, according to the Federal Department of Energy. The Electricity Fairy: Appalachian Coal and America’s Energy Future is a documentary that examines America’s national addiction to fossil fuels through the lens of electricity. Appalshop Filmmaker Tom Hansell follows the story of a proposed coal-fired power plant in the mountains of southwest Virginia, connecting the local controversy to the national debate over energy policy. Present day documentary footage is remixed with old educational films, connecting past policy to America’s current energy crisis.
Coalmining Women by Elizabeth Barret (40 min)
Interviewed at home and on the job, women coal miners tell of the conditions that led them to seek employment in this traditionally male-dominated industry–and the problems they encountered once hired. Watching these women bolt mine roofs, shovel beltlines, haul rock dust, and build ventilation barriers leaves little doubt that they can, indeed, do the work. Proud of their accomplishments, the women also seem to bring a special understanding to the problems all miners face. Coalmining Women traces women’s significant contributions to past coalfield struggles and the importance of their newer position as working miners. It is an excellent film for audiences interested in women in nontraditional roles, women’s history, labor studies, and women as a force for social change.