April 21, 2021

Hard Road of Hope: From Coal to Gas in WV

Eleanor is a creative radical, journalist and filmmaker who wanted to be a journalist that people can trust, and who would head to the source of the news instead of hearing about these environmental issues through third parties. That is where “Hard Road of Hope” was born, in the hills and hollers of a broken West Virginia (WV).


Wild Virginia is no stranger to the shale fields. The nonprofit used to conduct fracking field tours: padding machines, dump trucks, motor cranes, welding machines, reseeding equipment, pipeline installation, and so much destruction.

But Goldfield’s award-winning documentary film doesn’t stop with the greed; it’s about WV as both resource colony but radical inspiration, a sacrifice zone, or a throwaway opioid state.

Our neighboring state is home to pain, oppression, and corruption, and Goldfield tackles some of these issues through personal recounts of our fellow West Virginians. “But much more than a microcosm of our agony, WV is an example of radical resolve. Proud rednecks, the people here are still fighting and building in the hills and hollers; working to connect their past to a broken present and the potential future that we all share. It’s a Hard Road of Hope, a pot-holed, precarious and puddled path past the Kings of coal and gas, but they keep walking. We would do well to walk with them for a while – and listen.”

The hard road of hope is felt in other parts of the country where large companies are able to profit over the tax payer’s best interests. As we saw with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline.


“It’s hard to win around here, it really is,” says Lynn Beatty, a resident of Doddridge County. A neighbor, Linda Ireland agrees that “You feel like there’s nothing you can do. Because you have these gas companies with all their resources. And the state seems to be on their side as well.”

“Hard Road of Hope” amplifies the voices of these forgotten and proud rednecks – the ones carrying the torch from the first rednecks who tied on red bandanas and marched for their basic human rights. It seeks to hold a mirror up to all sacrifice zones, to the isolated folks in pain across the nation. This is an American story and history – and helps to highlight the history and issues from the corruption of the coal industry to the propaganda of gas.

To watch the upcoming screening of Hard Road of Hope on April 24, contact Eleanor.