6th DMZ Docs(2014)
I AM DOCU
If Barbara KOPPLE had made no other film than this documentary account of the 1974 strike of Kentucky mine workers, arguably one of the finest documentaries ever made in the U.S. and possibly the best on the problems of organized labor, her place in film history would be assured. 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 U.S.A. is a landmark in the history of American documentary filmmaking.
Born in New York. She is produced and directed Harlan County U.S.A. (1976) and American Dream (1990), both winners of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.KOPPLE’s other documentaries include Wild Man Blues (1998), about the European tour of Woody ALLEN, A Conversation with Gregory Peck (1999), Shut Up and Sing (2006) and Woodstock: Now & Then (2009). Running From Crazy (2013) A Force of Nature (2011) Gun Fight (2011) The House of Steinbrenner (2010) Woodstock: Now And Then (2009) The DC Sniper’S Wife (2008) High School Musical: The Music in You (2008)
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