Movies and Movers

Steve Fesenmaier (
Thu, 13 Feb 2003 03:54:53 -0800 (PST)

Film Nuts - March 2003

A Lady from Chemical Valley

In 1985, a year after the Bhopal Disaster in India, Mimi Pickering from
Appalshop came to Charleston and directed one of her best films,
"Chemical Valley." One of the activists in the film was Rebecca Godfrey.
Ms. Godfrey also was very active in musical and film groups in the
Kanawha Valley since the 1940s. She is now fighting for her life, facing
ovarian cancer. She and her husband Peter Godrey programmed the Jewish
Cultural Series which usually included one night of new Jewish-themed
films. I assisted the film showings from 1979 up to the present. I have
to publically wish the best to Ms. Godfrey and thank her for all of her
support since 1979. When David Price came to WV, and ended my role in
Film Services, she was one of two people who stood up for the program at
a public meeting in South Charleston - her and another Bhopal activist
Paul Nuchims - and thereby prevented the total destruction of the
program. Price promised them that he would not throw awayof the 16 mm
film collection. She also supported me during my four years of total
hell while Price tried to fire me and make me resign. She met my friend
Sandy Berman when he was here during that time, and has always been a
rabid supporter of public libraries in the state. I hope that everyone
can send her some positive energy to help her in her battle. She is 88
years old and has lived like a 30 year old until just a few months ago.