Thu, Nov 17, 2022


Fri, Nov 18, 2022


STORYSCREEN Theater | 445 Main St. | Beacon, NY

Screening at 7pm / Doors at 6:30pm


“Devil Put the Coal” is holistic look at the impact of this legacy and the ravages of extractive industry and corporate power, as it has affected the people, communities and the environment of West Virginia. Consciously eschewing exploitive filmmaking around the opioid epidemic or poverty, the film focuses on its people – all linked by the love of their home state and desire to stay put against all odds. Structured upon personal storytelling from native West Virginians, the film draws upontheir rich experiences and diverse perspectives in order to create an informal “People’sHistory of West Virginia”. These individuals run the gamut – from recovering opioid addict, to environmental activist, to U.S. Congressional candidate, to town judge, to recovery center nurse, to corporate environmental lawyer, to struggling local business owner – all of whom, despite their differences, remain linked by the love of their home state and the challenges that threaten their survival, and way of life.

Uniquely paced and stylistically arresting, the film marries personal narrative with cinematic aerial footage, rare archival photography from DOCUMERICA luminary Jack Corn, bespoke animation and an original score that features the music of Steve Earle & Iris Dement– at once a meditation on the mystique of coal culture, a people’s resilience and deep connection to the land, and elegy to a vanishing Appalachia.

Film website:

Q&A with film co-director and producers Lucas Sabean and special guest.