Goodbye Gauley Mountain

Directed by Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens

Release Year: 2014
Running Time: 70
Color Type: Color
Country: U.S.
Closed Captioned: Yes
Genres: Documentary
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Screening Info
Directed by Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens

Protest and sexuality come together in Goodbye Gauley Mountain, a rollicking documentary following campaigning "ecosexuals" Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle. Returning home to the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia to protest against the environmentally devastating practice of mountain top removal (MTR), which involves blowing up the local environment, they preach their doctrine of "Earth as lover" with its literal embrace of the natural world. As they put their bodies on the line, bringing sensuality and spirit to the environmental movement, Goodbye Gauley Mountain demonstrates how the fight for environmental justice can be inclusive, sexy and fun, even in the face of environmental tragedy.

Educational Reviews

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain is deep, full of feeling, effective, beautifully made and powerful! Especially dear to my heart are all the fine ecosexual West Virginia dogs. The message of this film belongs in every adult and child's heart, soul, mind and body. This compost is hot!" Donna Haraway, Professor Emeritus UC Santa Cruz and Author of When Species Meet and The Cyborg Manifesto.

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain is all at once a smart and sexy documentary, film essay, art video, and activist vehicle. I show this exemplar of ecosexuality in classes on pornography, experimental documentary, and environmental media." Constance Penley, Professor of Film and Media Studies, Co-Convenor of the Carsey-Wolf Center's Environmental Media Initiative Research Group, UC Santa Barbara.

"The playful ecoeroticism of Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens makes environmentalism a bit less bleak, offering abundant pleasure rather than what we usually expect---virtuous self-deprivation within a horizon of impending doom. In Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, Beth Stephens brilliantly counters the grief and pain wrought by mountaintop removal, with pleasure, wild desire, and an enticing invitation for everyone to join the festivities. This is a beautiful, deeply moving film, fueled by fierce passions for real places under fire. Nature lovers of all sorts must see this film! It is a powerful teaching tool for scholars and researchers interested in environmental justice." Dr. Stacy Alaimo, Professor of English and Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor, University of Texas at Arlington and author of Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self and co-editor of Material Feminisms

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain is a work of art whose presence will continue to work its magic for years to come." Helen and Newton Harrison, Environmental Artists, Professors Emeritus UC San Diego.

"Generations of Appalachia women fighting power companies have been documented on film. In Harlan County, USA, they stake their claim as union folks alongside husbands and daddies. In Chemical Valley, they stake their claim as mothers and protectors of the land. In Goodbye Gauley Mountain, a new champion of economic justice emerges: the ecosexual, who saves the earth as lover instead of mother. Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle hilariously mock the fear of a Queer planet with a serious message of opposing mountaintop removal in this fabulously teachable film." Professor Carol Mason, University of Kentucky in Gender and Women's Studies and author of Reading Appalachia from Left to Right and Oklahomo: Lessons in Unqueering America.

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain brings love into the open. This thoughtful film explores the complex affective politics of an ongoing environmental disaster. Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle's embrace of the southern West Virginia coalfields highlights residents' love for the mountains as well as the imaginary divisions between humans and nature that help make the tragedy of mountaintop removal possible." Rebecca Scott, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri. Author of Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain is a truly informative documentary about the devastating social and environmental impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining. But it is also a celebration of the love of nature, activism, and endurance. When we watch Beth and Annie marry the Appalachian Mountains, and see beloved heroes like Larry Gibson joining in on the fun, we think about activism in new and empowering ways. It is the only MTR film that makes me smile and gives me hope." Dwight B. Billings is a professor of sociology and Appalachian Studies at the University of Kentucky. He is a past president of the Appalachian Studies Association and past editor of the Journal of Appalachian Studies.

"Impressive. Informative. Passionate. Required viewing for scholars, students, artists, and activists concerned about the environment--and in saving the world." Kelly Dennis, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Art History, University of Connecticut Author of Art/Porn: A History of Seeing and Touching (Berg 2009).

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain is a wonderful and inspiring film about stopping the environmental devastation of one of America's most valuable ecological landscapes. The film uses passion, beauty, humor and love to confront the environmental challenge, filling the viewer with hope and resilience, rather than helplessness and despair. A great film to show documentary film students, as it is a great example of a personal, participatory film project that spurs viewers to social action." Jesse Drew, Ph.D. Cinema and Technocultural Studies, University of California at Davis

"A passionate and personal plea for the preservation of the mountains which produce our most vital and basic natural resource, water. A MUST for the younger generation to see." Geoffrey Hendricks, Professor of Art Emeritus, Rutgers University. Fluxus Artist

"What would happen if we dared to actually, literally, and explicitly love the environment? The one we live in, the one we come from, and the one that we envision for ourselves, our loved ones, and the generations of those who will follow us? Goodbye Gauley Mountain is an unabashed love song, filled with both mourning and hope, for the richness of the earth we've squandered yet deem to hold sacred. At the sharpest critical edge of the new ecological theory, and in all its warmth and joyousness and generosity, this film calls for us to drop the distant intellectual guard we wear like so many fig leaves. We owe so much to Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle for bringing it to us. Fearless and consummate lovers of the earth, they teach us to embrace our ecosexuality and how to enact this vital new critical paradigm." Richard Morrison, Editorial Director, Fordham University Press.

"WOW Beth and Annie!! You two have accomplished a mountainous task of creating a work of art-life that we all need. Your masterful/multi-faceted film, Goodbye Gauley Mountain is: 1. A teaching tool for art departments. 2. A performance art look at a complicated/dangerous issue translated as life back into art. 3. A documentary that mentors viewers and environmental activists into the important and necessary language of global warming outrage!! Thank you for sharing your news and teaching us how to roar." Linda Mary Montano Artist and Author, Letters from Linda M. Montano.

"A heartfelt, moving, incisive film and an invaluable document. Crosses disciplines from experimental performance to contemporary politics and environmental activism." Dr. Luke Dixon. Author of Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities, Bees and Honey, myth, folklore and traditions, Playacting, Creating Solo Performance. Senior Lecturer, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. Visiting Lecturer, Middlesex University, UK. Beekeeper in Residence, The Natural History Museum, London.

"This is, without compare, the sexiest nature documentary and one of the most profound films to deal with the beauty and tragedy of the Appalachian Mountains in the age of King Coal." Russ McSpadden, Earth First! Journal.

"I was expecting to see a boring, hippie, lesbian, environmentalist film but Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story is unlike any film I've ever seen before. Its fun, its dirty and after watching this film, you'll never think of tree hugging or where your electricity comes from in quite the same way." Travis Mathews, Filmmaker, Interior.LeatherBar.

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain offers an artful examination of the devastation of mountain-top removal in West Virginia, while also presenting eroticism and ecosexuality as ethical resources towards furthering ecological activism. The film is both critically relevant and heartfelt, a documentary that exposes the troubled world that we are making and our personal, material, and meaningful implication within that world. It tells a story of violence and love, kinship and desire, in which human lives are not and cannot be the only lives that matter." Michael J. Morris, Dance and Performance Studies Scholar Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Dance, Denison University (After August)

"Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle are strong, honest and dangerous." Eric Hokeson, Grace Exhibition Space, New York

"Eloquent, erotic, ecological: Goodbye Gauley Mountain shows why climate justice needs queers--for our expertise in alliance-building, our campy styles, and our pleasurable commitment to this erotic earth and our own ecosexualities." Dr. Greta Gard, Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, author of The Nature of Home: Taking Root in a Place and an editor of International Perspectives in Feminist Ecocriticism

"Goodbye Gauley Mountain is both art and argument, encompassing themes of environmental justice, past and present, the spirit of place, memoir, ecosexual ceremony and much more. It works superbly to educate and inspire in my classes on Green Consciousness and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. A must for every university library." Jane Caputi, Professor, Women Gender and Sexuality Studies, Florida Atlantic University

Critical Acclaim

"Heartfelt, haunting and downright provocative, Goodbye Gauley Mountain is one of the most captivating environmental documentaries of the year." Greg Archer, Huffington Post.

Trailer EMB