By Lorena LUCIANO, Filippo PISCOPO


Documentary - Completed 2013

When a rural US Appalachian community comes to believe that the illnesses that almost killed them may not be an act of God but of environmental wrongdoing, locals take on major coal company Massey Energy over contaminated water that they charge is the cause of widespread sickness.

    • Year of production
    • 2013
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • USA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 85 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Lorena LUCIANO, Filippo PISCOPO
    • Writer(s)
    • Lorena LUCIANO, Filippo PISCOPO
    • Producer(s)
    • Lorena LUCIANO (Film2 Productions), Filippo PISCOPO (Film2 Productions)
    • Synopsis
    • COAL RUSH, 5 years in the making, is a documentary-­film following the relentless battle for justice of a rural Appalachian community that has sued a US coal giant, accused of contaminating the drinking water of over 700 West Virginia residents with billions of gallons of improperly disposed coal processing waste.
      While the area around Charleston, West Virginia struggles to recover from a chemical leak that in early 2014 shut down the water supplies of three hundred thousand residents for a week, just 86 miles away in Mingo County, over 700 residents had been subjected to deadly well water contaminated with coal processing waste, containing heavy metals and the same kinds of chemicals involved in the 2014 spill, for nearly thirty years. The local, state, and federal governments largely ignored the forgotten communities’ plea for potable water and call for accountability of the coal company who knowingly injected this poison into the drinking water for decades.
      COAL RUSH examines one of the worst yet least publicized US industrial contamination disasters from all angles – including Massey Energy’s standpoint -­ while bringing an important story of human suffering into focus.
      The film deals with some of the most pressing social and environmental issues in America today – concerns over toxins in Americans’ tap water, alleged corporate malfeasance, regulatory failings, and rural poverty – through the universally ­appealing story of a highly controversial legal saga.
    • Partners & financing
    • New York State Council on the Arts Grantee
      Ben & Jerry Foundation grantee
    • Production schedule
    • Completed
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jan 01, 2008