“Matewan” a documentary from Eastern Kentucky

Mining is a  horrible way to make a living, but for Appalachian families in West Virginia, Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky, there is no other choice. The men endure the pain and health issues, poor pay, and horror of being deep in the earth to feed their children and keep their families together.  And then they thought the union would be on their side to make their lives better.  Little did they know. . . . . .

It is so clear what rascals both the management and the unions were.  Such selfishness by the warring sides  and such suffering by the miners and their families.  Just like today, everyone had/ has  an agenda.

HARLAN COUNTY, USA is a feature documentary film, which tells the story of the striking coal miners of Eastern Kentucky. Barbara Kopple and her crew spent three years filming within the mining community and 180 families’ bitter struggle to win a contract.  Facing dangerous and violent anti-union gun thugs and the brutal murder of one of their own, the striking miners fearlessly face the picket line day in and day out in the hopes of securing a fare wage and a better way of life for their families.  The film is a tribute to the working families of America, particularly the women of Harlan County who actively organized and spearheaded efforts to keep the struggle alive.

Watch the full length movie of the universal suffering of the least among us.   Click on the link below.  Your heart will be touched. This is one of the movies that I have never forgotten since I saw it in the late 80s.   It is a  powerful  cry for justice !


I would love to hear your thoughts. . . . 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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13 Responses to “Matewan” a documentary from Eastern Kentucky

  1. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great flick… Years ago, Dad was suppose to bring back one of these mindless-action movies I had wanted to watch, but he surprised us with bringing back Matewan instead. I complained, of course being a teenager and all, but halfway through it I was riveted to this lifestyle, hardship and a great lesson in how unions can work as well. Thank you for bringing this memory back! Wish you and Dave a great holiday season ~ especially as your Indian dreams will be returning soon!

    • annetbell says:

      What a wonderful memory. I never forgot it either. Powerful! We are getting very excited abiut India! Happy Holidays ti you too!

      • Dalo 2013 says:

        The movie really was a stunner for me ~ and seeing this post makes me want to watch it again. I have a busy 2 weeks and then back to the States for Christmas and very much looking forward to it. For you, the holidays and India are probably putting you in ’emotion overload’ 🙂

      • annetbell says:

        we just had a lovely Thanksgiving/Christmas with our son and his family. We will be with our daughter for Christmas Eve and Christmas. And yes, we are getting so excited about India. Next Friday we are having dinner for the India students. I am very excited to meet them all. I will be the Mommy on the trip and I love the students. Always get along famously with them. The movie is free on YouTube so you could watch it anytime, anywhere. Another life changing film is “Trainspotting” about the heroin lifestyle in Edinburgh. . . . If you don’t know it , watch it. “Midnight Express” is another one. Safe travels and Merry Christmas!

      • Dalo 2013 says:

        Trainspotting is a great movie ~ although I remember I had to concentrate so closely as it was really difficult to understand their accents 🙂

        Sounds like you have had a great start to the holiday season ~ and a lot of great times (making memories as they say). Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

      • annetbell says:

        Trainspotting was produced to show the horror of heroin addiction which was running rampant in Scotland during that time. You can watch it for free now on YouTube! Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      • annetbell says:

        FYI. . . my two favorite films are “Lost in Translation” and “In Brugges” with Colin Farrell. L I T is Bill Murray as you have never seen him. For what it is worth!

  2. Chess says:

    I Will definitely be watching this Anne, what a horrible way to make a living.

  3. Saw it years ago when I was living in Perth, Western Australia – brilliant movie, gutsy men and women, never forgotten.

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