The Ohio premiere of Coal Country, a documentary about mountain-top-removal coal mining and the damage it causes to the environment, takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Akron Civic Theatre (182 S. Main St., 330.957.6167, akroncivic.com). For country/folk singer Kathy Mattea, the movie coincided with work she did with Al Gore to promote his film An Inconvenient Truth. "It's been an amazing process," says Mattea, who was originally asked to do the film's soundtrack but eventually ended up in the film too. The West Virginia-born Mattea, who has released an album of coal-mining songs, says there's always been a good deal of ambivalence about coal mining. That's something that's exploited in Coal Country, which presents the coal companies' side of the story too. "The larger conversation is, How do we change things?" says Mattea. "I'm just a chick singer, so I don't want to pretend that I know the final solution. But how we have the conversation is very important. I think sustainability just makes sense. If we say we're going to do that, we've got to take care of the miners on the way and [not] just drop them, which is my great fear." A private reception with Mattea, executive producer Mari-Lynn Evans, and actress and activist Daryl Hannah precedes the screening at 6:30 p.m. Afterward, there is a reception at Ohio Brewing Company (222 Main St.) where the bluegrass band Sawgrass will perform. Go to coalcountrythemovie.com for info.
Terry Meehan, an adjunct professor at Lorain Community College and host of a film program at Lakewood Public Library called "Back to the Movies: Five Decades of Cinemas," is also teaching a film-appreciation class at the Cuyahoga County Public Library's Orange branch (31300 Chagrin Blvd.). The eight-session class begins on Monday, Sept. 14, and covers everything from cinematography and art direction to screenwriting. Registration is $60; contact Meehan at email@example.com for more info.
The West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church (20401 Hilliard Rd., Rocky River) presents two special screenings this weekend: 9/11: Press for Truth, about families of 9/11 victims who took on the Bush Administration in the wake of World Trade Center attack, screens at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, and Processed People, a 40-minute movie about health and environment issues, screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Admission is free, but donations are requested.