Harlan County, U.S.A.

Director: Barbara Kopple
Year Released: 1976
Rating: 3.5

Entrancing look at the coal miner's strike in Harlan County, Kentucky back in 1973 and the Classic Capitalist Clash between the rich and the poor. Kopple's cameras seem to be able to get into everywhere, and she's always at the heart of things: tense union meetings, in-the-street brawls and in N.Y.C. with some miners for a protest outside the Duke Power corporate offices. It relies more on emotion than journalistic acuity, but as Mr. Ebert said during a showing of the picture at Sundance, the content - even in its basic form - is just as relevant today (which shows we haven't improved worker relations in 30 years, and probably won't for the next thirty, either). It's unfortunate that Kopple's later films have lacked such compelling subject matter.