“Rise Up! West Virginia”    VIEWER COMMENTS 



From Wheeling, West Virginia


I just wanted to thank you for the movie. I was one of the students that had the honor of watching your movie in Kermit, WV. Rise Up! WV is such a powerful movie and it really hit home with me. I live in WV, but I was unaware of the damage that mountain top removal is causing to this state and other states, for that matter. Thank you so much for enlightening me. It is absolutely shocking how companies can keep disregarding people's lives. When will it be ever enough for the companies? When will they value other's lives instead of money, instead of their own comfort? Thank you for lighting a fire of questions within me.


I also want to thank you for bringing the "Dust Busters" along. It is so much more impactful when there is someone who is living in the thick of the problems to talk to. I really enjoyed listening to them and was appalled that the coal companies and the government would let that continue. Thank you and I thank them for sharing their story.


I would love to learn more about mountain top removal so if there are any websites, literature, etc. you could direct me to that would be really great. If there is anything that I could do to help please don't hesitate to contact me. 


Keep Fighting!!

Student at Wheeling Jesuit University



From Washington State


I watched the film Rise Up, West Virginia yesterday as soon as it came in the mail. This film is very powerful and nobody with an ounce of reason will walk away from it undisturbed. Of the many excellent points made in the film, to me the most profound was a statement made by Robert Kennedy Jr when he visited WV, and I improvise: If another country did this to us we would call it an act of war. Staggering. Just when I think things could not get worse, they do. Each day and everyday since I first learned about MTR six weeks ago, the pictures I find get far worse. The film really makes it very clear that WV cannot survive another decade like the last one. Ken Ward wrote an article in the Gazette in 1998 showing the first mountain in West Virginia to lose it's top, Bullpush Mountain in Fayette County; it is a lightyear away from the devastation staring back at us today. Washington state is where I live - West Virginia is my home.



From Lexington, Kentucky


I really enjoyed the Rise Up film.  It did make me cry a few times.  Jim Foster was terrific and great to hear some other new voices and new stories.  Thanks for doing this and I hope it gets widely screened.


Dave Cooper, Mountaintop Removal Road Show



From Brooklyn, New York


James and I watched the film this evening and were both mesmerized.  The voices of those West Virginians, yourself included, spoke so forcefully and clearly.  What a powerful film!


Thank you, again, for allowing us to be a part of it.  You wove the music into the film wonderfully!


Tina Aridas, James Reams and the Barnstormers



From Denver, Colorado


I heard about your film "Rise Up!" on Bob Kincaid's show, and wanted to let you know what a good job you did on that.  I think I became aware of the film when you called in and talked about it.  If you get a chance, you and your allies may want to call into some other programs and do the same, including right-wing shows. 


Good luck with your efforts.

I'll be ordering another copy to donate to the Denver Public Library in the near future.



From White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia


Terrific, so glad you finally “got it done.’  Just want to do what I can for more awareness.  I think it really does make all the difference.



From Lewisburg, West Virginia


Last night I watched the video Rise Up West Virginia by BJ Gudmundsson, local filmmaker and resident of Lewisburg.  It is an impressive film on mountaintop removal.After watching the video it is clear to me that to residents of the areas affected and to other thoughtful people that there is no such thing as ‘responsible’ mountaintop removal.



From Rock Creek, West Virginia


I just finished watching “Rise Up, West Virginia.”  I really enjoyed it.  This being 2 days before MLK day I was struck by Nicky Joe Rahall’s “I have a dream” speech.  You can certainly tell where his heart is.  “I have a dream that someday all the cars in NASCAR will say coal to liquid.”


Thanks for all that you do.



From Brooklyn, New York


We are thrilled and honored that our music is a part of your film “Rise Up! West Virginia.”  I am hopeful for the first time in so very long that changes, in so many aspects of American life are possible.  People seem eager for change.  We need folks like you to organize the scattered voices into one strong voice.  Your film can do that.  Thank you.




































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Call BJ at 304-799-3989




“Rise Up! West Virginia”

The Movie


“We’re being annihilated here!”


Blessing of the Mountains

Ansted, West Virginia


Donna Branham fighting to save

her home in Mingo County, WV


Pauline Canterberry and

Mary Miller with plastic jar installed

by the experts for monitoring dust levels in Sylvester, West Virginia