When West Virginia broke away from Virginia in 1861 at the start of the American Civil War, its founders did not agree upon the Confederacy or the role of the state in the war. They were, however, united in their interests around the extraction and exploitation of the rich resources of the state, predominantly coal and timber, which would prove to be the dominant theme throughout the history of West Virginia. Devil Put the Coal is a 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. 

2022 | USA | 80 mins