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Harlan County, USA

(DVD - 2006 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Harlan County, USA
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Documents the 1973 Kentucky coal miners' strike against the operators of the Brookside mine and the Duke Power Company, which resulted from the company's refusal to honor the national contract of the United Mine Workers of America.
Title: Harlan County, USA
[videorecording]
Published: [S. l.] : Criterion Collection ; Janus Films, 2006.
Edition: Special ed.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 1 hr., 44 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.
Notes: Originally released as a motion picture in 1976.
New essays by film scholar Paul Arthur and music journalist Jon Weisberger in booklet in container.
Special features: New , restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director-producer Barbara Kopple; audio commentary by Kopple and editor Nancy Baker; "The making-of 'Harlan County, USA': a new documentary featuring interviews with Kopple, crew members and strike participants featured in film; New video interview with legendary bluegrass singer-songwriter Hazel Dickens; never-before-seen outtakes from the film; new video interview with director John Sayles; a panel discussion from the 2005 Sundance Festival featuring Kopple and Roger Ebert ; original theatrical trailer.
Summary: Documents the 1973 Kentucky coal miners' strike against the operators of the Brookside mine and the Duke Power Company, which resulted from the company's refusal to honor the national contract of the United Mine Workers of America.
Local Note: 1 4
Additional Contributors: Kopple, Barbara
Dickens, Hazel
ISBN: 0780030168
Branch Call Number: DVD 331.87 HAR
Statement of Responsibility: a Cabin Creek Films ; produced and directed by Barbara Kopple
Credits: Cinematography, Hart Perry, Kevin Keating ; editor, Nancy Baker ; music, Hazel Dickens, Merle Travis.
System Details: DVD, region 1, widescreen (1.78:1) presentation; Dolby Digital mono.
Subject Headings: Coal miners Kentucky Harlan County Video recordings. Coal Miners' Strike, Harlan County, Ky., 1973 Video recordings. United Mine Workers of America Video recordings. Eastover Mining Company Video recordings. Duke Power Company Video recordings.
Genre/Form: Documentary films.
Topical Term: Coal miners
Coal Miners' Strike, Harlan County, Ky., 1973
Publisher No: HAR120
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Mar 21, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

There have been quite a few political/socially engage political documentaries in the past decade, but few have the power and impact of Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning film about a miner's strike in Kentucky. Michael Moore set an unfortunate precedent by choosing worthy subjects (9/11, gun control, corporations), but making himself the real star. This is a textbook example in how to let a people tell the story themselves with minimal director interference. There is truly some unbelievable footage here, from the crushing poverty the people live in to the violence of the strike breakers, who take a shot at the strikers and the camera crew. It will anger and inspire you, as the best docs should. I was originally inspired to watch this because the show "Justified" is set in Harlan County. This special edition includes a short making of documentary, an interview with John Sayles, an interview with one of the musicians featured on the excellent soundtrack and a Sundance anniversary of the film.

Jul 02, 2013
  • uncommonreader rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is an excellent documentary about the coal miners' strike in East Kentucy that still resonates 25 years later. Unfortunately, since then we have seen such a decline in the unionized work force.

Jun 13, 2012
  • eve373 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved the opening scenes showing the mine workers laying down on a conveyor belt, with their lunch pails between their legs, entering the mines.
I took in every scene with a new awareness of what goes on in mining towns.

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