Director ELAINE MCMILLION SHELDON (US 2023) 85 min
Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon thoughtfully constructs a lyrical montage of her homeland, Central Appalachia. There, through artful cinematography and innovative use of beatbox and breath art, combined with the gentle guidance of poetic narration, we’re encouraged to contemplate the place-specific cultural significance of the dominant nonrenewable fossil fuel. Vérité shots reveal glorifying coal-themed events — such as shoveling contests, beauty pageants, coal festivals, and a retired miner’s classroom presentation — from which collective identity coheres. Yet for all its local celebrity, the industry is in decline. The filmmaker, whose family has depended on coal for generations, captures the struggles of communities grappling with its waning influence. Through this stunning hybrid film, Sheldon guides us through the complexity of a region and a way of life in transition, leaving us with a deeper understanding of how coal shaped Appalachian America.
IN PERSON: Director ELAINE MCMILLION SHELDON
SATURDAY, MAY 13 • 4:00
THE REDFORD CENTER
Recently named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine, ELAINE MCMILLION SHELDON is also the director of the Academy Award®-nominated, Emmy-winning Heroin(e) (2017), and Recovery Boys (2018), among other works.
|RUNNING TIME:||85 min|
|DIRECTOR:||Elaine McMillion Sheldon|
|PRODUCERS:||Shane Boris, Diane Becker, Peggy Drexler, Elaine McMillion Sheldon|
|NOTE WRITER:||Michelle Svenson|