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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

New comment section added September 04, 2011

 

 

 

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