Related story: An important film for West Virginians.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Applause and standing ovations were given at the screening of an anti-mountaintop-removal mining documentary that premiered Friday in Charleston.
"The Last Mountain," a film made during dozens of trips to West Virginia by environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., director Bill Haney and many others, was given a free screening at the Capitol Center Theater.
Many audience members said the documentary serves as a message to Americans to be more concerned over the controversial mining practice. Others said the film could energize West Virginians to get involved in protests such as the labor March on Blair Mountain, which concludes Saturday.
"Deep issues make people uncomfortable," said Scott McMillen, 40 of Charleston. "Serious issues on how our state is run are seen as scary. Instead, people are too concerned with which star is married to this star."
Melissa Burch, 22, of Cameron, said most of West Virginia's population is torn over the use of mountaintop-removal mining. Burch said she has participated in the march and planned on attending Saturday's conclusion ceremony.
"There's a surprising amount of people, in the border states especially, that do not know a lot about it," she said. "A lot of West Virginians, young West Virginians, are in support or they are either pro-coal. It's really split."
Rita Ray of Charleston said she has spent two days with the marchers and was glad to see the large crowd of people who turned out for the film.