HARLAN COUNTY U.S.A.
Director: Barbara Kopple Run Time: 103 min. Release Year: 1977
Starring: Bessie Lou Cornett, Houston Elmore, Lois Scott, Norman Yarborough, Phil Sparks
Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award–winning Harlan County USA unflinchingly documents a grueling coal miners’ strike in a small Kentucky town. With unprecedented access, Kopple and her crew captured the miners’ sometimes violent struggles with strikebreakers, local police, and company thugs. Featuring a haunting soundtrack—with legendary country and bluegrass artists Hazel Dickens, Merle Travis, Sarah Gunning, and Florence Reece—the film is a heartbreaking record of the thirteen-month struggle between a community fighting to survive and a corporation dedicated to the bottom line.