Harlan County

Harlan County a 1976 documentary made about the actual miners strike in Harlan county Kentucky against Duke Power Company. The strike went on for 13 months and all the time Barbara Kopple, the documentary film maker and her team were with them, filming various events. She managed to get some real good shots, including a company man firing a gun, the pickets, and lot of stories. But there is no narrative like it happens in a documentary film. Barbara has managed to weave the story for viewers through the interviews itself. The strike was for better living conditions and 1970s were the time when there were strikes even in India because the workers were exploited those days by unscrupulous industrialists. 1982 was the famous Mumbai textile workers strike, after which one by one the entire textile sector closed down in Mumbai. Coal mining of course was a difficult job and the workers down there were bound to get lung disease or cancer of some kind. But ironically, everybody in the movie was smoking, probably oblivious that they were holding the cancer in their hands!! This movie won the Oscar for the best documentary film at the 49th Academy Awards.

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