Film Premiere: Deep Down on Independent Lens, Tuesday, November 23
The issues of environment, economics, public policy, and culture clash in a battle over energy and wealth when the PBS series Independent Lens hosts the premiere of Deep Down, an independent documentary film by Sally Rubin and Jen Gilomen, on Tuesday, November 23, at 10 p.m. (eastern).
If a coal mining company can get permission for mountaintop removal mining (explosives blow up mountaintops, exposing seams of coal underneath), it means more money for the company, jobs for miners, and leases for the landowners. It also means heavy truck traffic on country roads, loss of and strain on environment, and the loss of homes for people whose families have lived in the area for generations. The bottom line is the choice between income and the health and safety of the community.
Deep Down follows two residents of Maytown, Kentucky, who have been neighbors all their lives, but are on opposite sides of the battle. One is just getting by, and could use the money from leasing his property to the coal company; the other does not want to see the devastation and subsequent damage that accompanies mountaintop removal mining.
This is a thoughtful film that captures the cloud of contentiousness that has settled on area residents—some who will benefit (through jobs) if the mining is allowed, and others who are against the destruction of their homes and, ultimately, culture. Deep Down is yet another take on our ever-increasing need for energy and its consequences, focusing on the cost to individuals and their rights. Emotions run high at town meetings where residents on both side of the argument are allowed to state their views.
More a documentary about people than coal mining, Deep Down explores the avenues people travel in order to protect what they believe is important. Does the coal company win? Tune in Tuesday night, and find out.