Burning the Future: Coal in America (2008)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Writer/director David Novack examines the conflicting forces that have prompted a potentially explosive conflict between the coal industry and the residents of West Virginia who question the impact of extraction on their quiet way of life. Troubled by the emergence of a coal-based U.S. energy policy, West Virginia activists try their hardest to educate the public about the potentially destructive effect of mining for coal: not only would ground water be rendered toxic, but 1.4 million acres of mountains would be demolished as well. Now forced to do battle with a powerful government that seems to cater especially to industry, these determined activists will go to any lengths necessary in order to get their voices heard and preserve their traditional way of life.
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Burning the Future: Coal in America

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

[Director] Novack has a dual focus: the U.S. consumption of coal, which accounts for just more than half the nation's energy, and 'mountaintop removal,' whereby companies, instead of actually mining, do a man-made Mount St. Helens.

Full Review… | March 10, 2008
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

David Novack's documentary Burning the Future: Coal in America is as upsetting as it is informative.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Pic deeply entrenches itself in the landscape, conveying both the beauty and the ravagement of the Appalachians.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008
Top Critic

[David] Novack's...inability to tell a compelling story makes it difficult for us to summon outrage.

Full Review… | February 26, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

Even considering its failings on a creative level, Burning the Future remains a film certainly worth seeing.

Full Review… | March 2, 2008
Film Journal International

Makes its eloquent case with both compassion and collective rage, allowing the people of West Virginia to speak for themselves as they emerge natural born leaders against a looming threat to their very survival.

Full Review… | March 2, 2008

Audience Reviews for Burning the Future: Coal in America

Highly intriguing!

Leo L
Leo L

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