Director Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle in attendance
Fri, May 17, 2013, 7pm
McMenamins Kennedy School Theater
Blending old-school environmental activism with eco-erotic lesbian performance art, Goodbye Gauley Mountain is an earnest love letter to the endangered Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, where filmmaker Beth Stephens grew up.
Over recent decades, mountaintop removal mining (also called MTR), where the tops of mountains are blown off to expose the coal seams beneath, has caused thousands of square miles of ecological devastation to one of the most biodiverse regions of North America. Goodbye Gauley Mountain combines personal memoir, as Stephens returns to the place of her birth, with a sober look at the history of MTR and its grim effects on local communities.
What sets this film apart in the chorus of increasingly urgent cries on behalf of a planet in distress is the unusual style of activism employed by Stephens and her partner, former sex worker and porn star Annie Sprinkle. Describing themselves as ecosexuals, Stephens and Sprinkle have collaborated on a series of rainbow-themed performance art weddings (www. loveartlab.org) aimed at eroticizing their relationship with the Earth and making ecological activism “more sexy, fun and diverse.”
Their goofy sweetness enlivens the film’s serious intentions, culminating in a purple-clad ceremony in which Stephens and Sprinkle wed themselves to the mountains. Especially for Portland, which hosted last year’s EcoSex Symposium (www.ecosex.org) and this year’s Ecosexual Convergence (www.ecosexconvergence.org), the combination is an appealing one.
– Stella Maris
Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story: Dir Beth Stephens, with Annie Sprinkle 201 USA 67 min.
Community Partners: Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival / Siren Nation