Harlan Country

Release Date: 15 June 2009 | Certificate: Exempt
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Barbara Kopple's documentary account of the 1974 strike of Kentucky mine workers is arguably one of the finest documentaries ever made in the U.S. and possibly the best on the problems of organised labour. The strike began when the miners working for the Eastover Mining Co. joined the UMW, and its corporate parent, Duke Power, refused to sign the standard union contract. By living with the 180-odd families involved in the strike, Kopple shows the backbreaking burdens of the miners' life in the best of times and the looming fear of destitution in the worst.

As the strikers strive to remain united through a difficult year, Kopple photographs the picketing, the company's use of state troopers to keep the roads open for scabs, the showdowns between the miners and strikebreakers brandishing firearms. After several shootings, one miner is finally killed. During the man's wake, a memorable sequence, his mother collapses. While the film is unabashedly partisan, it's worth remembering that the company's refusal to sign a contract was condemned by the National Labor Relations Board and that the corporation agreed to sign only under heavy pressure from federal mediators. The Oscar-winning HARLAN COUNTY, USA is a landmark in the history of American documentary filmmaking.
Release Date: 15 June 2009
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification
Directed by: Barbara Kopple

Region 2
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 103 minutes
Main Language: English

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Catalogue No: ARTF0131