Searing Documentary To Be Shown at Mary Baldwin

April 20, 2006

The acclaimed film in progress,Black Diamonds: Mountaintop Removal and the Fight for Coalfield Justice, will be shown at 7 p.m. May 4 in Francis Auditorium. Filmmaker Catherine Pancake will discuss the implications of her study following the film.

Michael Yockel ofBaltimore Magazinedescribed the film as a “searing 90-minute documentary mixes history, sociology, advocacy, journalism, and personal portraits vividly depicting the catastrophic ecological and cultural effects wrought by mountaintop removal coalmining”

The film is written, directed, and produced by Catherine Pancake, aided by her sister Ann Pancake, a writer. Catherine is a native of West Virginia who now lives in Baltimore. She is a well respected film maker and musician and has spent the last six years makingBlack Diamondsto reveal the devastating effects of mountaintop removal on the Appalachian Mountains and on the communities there. She has funded the film herself along with a Maryland States Arts Council Grant and others.

There will be information at the presentation about mountaintop removal and what each citizen can do to work within the political process to bring attention to what is happening to the Appalachian Mountains and Appalachian Communities due to this devastating method of mining coal.

The film and presentation are sponsored by the Mary Baldwin University departments of Philosophy and Religion, Art, Communication, and Sociology and the student environmental organization TEAR. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about mountaintop mining, visit .

The public is invited to watch Black Diamonds and talk with filmmaker Catherine Pancake 7pm May 4 in Francis Auditorium at the corner of Coalter and Frederick streets, Staunton. The event is free of charge.