Hard Coal (2006)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Social History  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Filmmaker Marc Brodzik descends into the pitch black hard coal mines of Northeastern Pennsylvania to shine a light on the dwindling industry, and the men who have been toiling underground for generations. Also known as anthracite, hard coal burns cleaner than other types of coals in addition to being more energy efficient. Though a valued resource until the mid-20th Century, hard coal dwindled in popularity when oil became the energy of choice following World War II, and as a result the industry shrunk until today, when only a dozen independent mining families remain operational. As their fathers and the fathers who came before them, today's miners work grueling 12 hour shifts 2000 feet underground, in complete darkness, to harvest the precious resource. In addition to offering a comprehensive overview of the troubled hard coal mining industry, Brodzik also speaks with scientists, politicians, and other experts about the reasons that anthracite seems to have been forgotten by the powers that be in their costly quest to find a more energy-efficient form of coal.

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Keywords

coal, coal-miner, energy, fuel, government, industry, mine, mine-owner, mining, mining-company, mining-town, natural-resources, underground [below earth]