October 20, 2010
Stephenson Center for Appalachia presents award-winning documentary Bonecrusher October 28 at 6:30 p.m.; Director Michael Fountain on hand for discussion following the film

Videographer Michael Fountain will discuss and present his award-winning documentary Bonecrusher at Lees-McRae College on Thursday, October 28, at 6:30 p.m. in Evans Auditorium. Part of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture Series, Fountain's program is open to the public and free of charge.

Owner of WriteBrain Films, Michael Fountain has been directing and producing television shows for over 17 years for such networks as the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television, the Disney Channel and CBS among others. He has produced for Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's K Street for HBO, NBC's The West Wing and for Michael Moore's The Awful Truth on Bravo.

He is the executive producer and director of Bonecrusher, which has won several awards, including the Jack Spadaro Best Documentary awarded by the Appalachian Studies Association in 2010. Bonecrusher tells the story of a young coalminer, Lucas Chaffin, and his father, nicknamed Bonecrusher. As Lucas enters a mining career, his father withers away from coal-dust ravaged lungs. The documentary develops the moving story of the struggles of the two men to come to terms with the realities of life in Southwest Virginia, where mining both creates economic opportunity and deadly disease.

"Bonecrusher is the best contemporary portrait of an underground miner that I have ever seen," writes Steve Fesenmaier of the Charleston Gazette.

Eddie Cockrell of Variety says, "In these days of telecommuting and job uncertainty, there's something profoundly inspiring about the Chaffins, and Fountain has perceptively captured this rural sense of family and tradition."

Bonecrusher holds a special meaning for those who live in Appalachia, where a way of life that links men and women to the ground upon which they stand continues today.

"Lees-McRae is privileged to host Michael Fountain. His documentary is both moving emotionally as it documents the love between father and son, and terrifying intellectually as it presents the deadly dilemma that faces them," says Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College. "We invite everyone in the area to share the experience of watching Bonecrusher and meeting Michael Fountain."

Bonecrusher will be presented at 6:30 p.m. at Evans Auditorium on Thursday, October 28. Lees-McRae invites the public to join us for this important program. For information contact Meghan Wright at 898-8729.

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