Feature Documentary: Harlan County U.S.A
This Academy Award Winning film 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.
The film was named to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress and was restored and preserved by the Women’s Preservation Fund and the Academy Film Archive, and featured as part of the Sundance Collection at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. It entered the Criterion Collection in 2006.