Sam Adams
May 19, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Harlan County, USA

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
director
Barbara Kopple
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A-

Harlan County, USA, Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning documentary sets up camp on the picket lines with the thick-skinned coal miners of Harlan County, Ky., and their tough-as-nails wives. They weather internal strife, union politics, and company intimidation that harks back to the 1930s (when violent strikebreaking tactics inspired the nickname ”Bloody Harlan”), but their resolve runs as deep as a mile-long shaft. EXTRAS include an interview with singer Hazel Dickens, whose high-lonesome ballads give the movie its soul, and a making-of in which Kopple recalls fending off hot-tempered scabs with her boom mike.

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