Monday, August 08, 2011


From Wikipedia:

Harlan County, USA is an Oscar-winning 1976 documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike" or "Bloody Harlan", an effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1973. Directed by Barbara Kopple, who has long been an advocate of workers' rights, Harlan County, U.S.A. is less ambivalent in its attitude toward unions than her later American Dream, the account of the Hormel Foods strike in Austin, Minnesota in 1985-86.


When the film was re-released film critic Roger Ebert praised the film, writing, "The film retains all of its power, in the story of a miners' strike in Kentucky where the company employed armed goons to escort scabs into the mines, and the most effective picketers were the miners' wives -- articulate, indomitable, courageous. It contains a famous scene where guns are fired at the strikers in the darkness before dawn, and Kopple and her cameraman are knocked down and beaten."

More here.

Facebook, for all its lameness, continues to be something of a place to exchange ideas, political, cultural, artistic, and, of course, trivial. I mean, most of it is trivial, but not always.

Case in point. A buddy of mine posted this trailer earlier tonight:

All I can say is "wow." As far as I can tell, this is what happens when you strip away the veneer of civility plastered over the facade of worker/capitalist relations. That is, everybody acts like the economic arrangement under which we all live is the way it's supposed to be, everybody in their place, everybody working toward common goals, whether you're a worker or a capitalist. But when workers start to object to the arrangement - and this only happens when workers disagree because capitalists make all the decisions - capitalists start to show their fangs and claws. Indeed, the entire power establishment starts to get really nasty really quickly when regular ordinary Americans start questioning "the way the world works." If the opposition becomes loud enough, that's when goons start to bust heads.

Seriously, this happened fairly recently, back in 1972, and as our economy continues to implode today, it's very likely that it's going to happen again soon. Don't be shocked when workers trying to get a fairer shake start showing up on television with blood running down their faces. Because that's ultimately what it's all about: capitalists call all the shots, take all the profit, and fuck you up if you resist.

After a little digging, I found the full documentary online, albeit with Spanish subtitles. So I'm watching this tonight. Care to join me?