The Appalachian mountain range stretches from New York state in the north to Alabama in the south. The area known as the central Appalachian region, in Virginia and West Virginia states, is one of the poorest in the United States, earning itself the nickname, America’s Colony. The giant coal companies, however, that operate there have become known, due to their dominance of the local economy and political policy making, as King Coal.

Today King Coal extracts coal using some of the most ruthless methods available. Mainly this involves blowing-up mountains from the top down with high explosives, carving out huge access roads that cover and pollute natural clean water sources, and hauling away the coal with little or no concern for the physical and economic health of the local inhabitants or the once pristine ancient landscape left pulverized and flattened in their wake.

This documentary tells the story of the socio-economic and environmental costs of coal extraction by mountain top removal in Appalachia.

Alan Gignoux