Film screening to raise awareness for mountaintop removal, ecosexuality

“My hope for this film is that in addition to it being a compelling story, it will inspire and raise awareness in groups of people not normally associated with the environmental movement, and especially in LGBTQI communities.”

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The Marshall University department of English will present a screening of “Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story” 7 p.m. Thursday in Smith Hall room 154.

Filmmakers Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle will discuss their documentary during a Q&A with the audience after the screening.

In the film, Stephens and Sprinkle strive to save a region from mountaintop removal destruction. The film tells the story of their love, activism and attempts to save their home in West Virginia.

“After viewing the cancerous blight that mountain top removal strip mining has and created throughout my beloved Appalachian Mountains.” Stephens said. “I felt compelled to make ‘Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, to let as many people as possible know about this ongoing environmental devastation.”

Assistant English professor Walter Squire said the film was played at the Appalachian Queer Film Festival in the fall.

The film connects movements like LGBT and environmentalism, which viewers would not normally see together in one film.

“There’s a moment in the film where Beth Stephens says queers can live without being married,” Squire said. “But they can’t live without water. The film is primarily a documentary about mountain top removal in West Virginia, but secondarily, it’s about the directors’ ecosexuality. They talk about viewing the Earth not only as ‘mother,’ but also as lover.”

The directors said they hope to raise awareness in new audiences.

“My hope for this film is that in addition to it being a compelling story,” Stephens said, “it will inspire and raise awareness in groups of people not normally associated with the environmental movement, and especially in LGBTQI communities.”

The screening is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

The English department, religious studies department, Marshall libraries, Honors College and Appalachian Studies Association sponsor the event.

Hannah Harman can be contacted at [email protected]

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