H a r l a n C o
u n t y USA
Least we think that America was built by the starched shirts and
expensive suits featured on FOX News and CNN.
This documentary will help to remind us that our freedoms and
working conditions were not won by U.S. soldiers in foreign
lands but through the suffering and sweat of our fathers and
grand fathers in their struggle against commercial interests.
These are my heroes, there sacrifice, courage and fortitude are
worth of our respect and gratitude.
Directors: Barbara Kopple - Production
Company: Cabin Creek - Runtime 105 Minutes
Originally posted Apr 29, 2007
It's hard to believe that some 40 years after the
Depression, there were parts of Appalachia that were hardly
better off than they were in the 1930s. The care-worn faces of
the miners and their families speak volumes. They're the tough,
proud faces of people struggling to make a living the way that
their parents and grandparents did in generations past.
Kopple skillfully weaves archival footage and
traditional labor songs through the film to give a historical
perspective to the strike against Eastover Mining Company. Above
and beyond the labor issues, the film takes a hard look at the
living conditions, health issues, and poverty faced by Harlan's
residents, the human toll that goes along with the mining
industry. The tense confrontations between Eastover's slimy
security goons and the unionizers are particularly gripping,
with the threat of violence hanging thick in the air. Sometimes
ugly, always absorbing, this is an important, enlightening
social record, one that serves the highest calling of the
documentary filmmaker's art. --Jerry Renshaw
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