One thing that I have wanted for a while now is a documentary without any kind of ideas o push or hidden agendas. I understand that in making a film about a non-fictional topic, it does become difficult to stay non-biased and not form some kind of opinion.
The problem obviously arises when that opinion is allowed to seep into the truthful presentation of the facts that are available. It is a little difficult to tell whether the filmmakers of The Last Mountain are able to fully avoid this issue.
I suppose the primary reason that it’s so difficult is because the topics for contemporary documentaries are becoming more contriversial.
The film explores the much-debated issue of mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian mountains. It follows several different movements as they act out against the corporate and governmental powers who continue their environmentally unsafe practices.
The people are all very real in their emotions and beliefs. Most of them hold themselves surprisingly well in front of a camera. Bobby Kennedy Jr. gets involved in the movement, and his speeches are very well-formed.
The reality of what is happening is brought right up to the viewer’s face with a lot of handheld close-ups and undercover tapings.
The sound serves to help the visuals in the task of making the destruction on screen much more visceral. The animated effects are cool too, and do a good job of serving up some of the more boring facts.
A very well put together documentary that lets you feel its message right from the start. It does get a tiny bit long towards the end, though.
Very watchable if you’re in the mood to learn about something important.
Here is the movie’s site if you want to get involved.