This American labor classic is based on the 1920 showdown between West Virginia coal miners and coal company agents hired to prevent them from unionizing. As organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper, in his film debut) explains, "They got you fightin' white against colored, native against foreign, hollow against hollow, when you know there ain't but two sides in this world — them that work and them that don't. You work, they don't. That's all you got to know about the enemy." The cast includes James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, David Strathairn and Will Oldham; with Oscar®-nominated cinematography by Haskell Wexler. (Note courtesy of Rochester Labor Film Series.) DIR/SCR John Sayles; PROD Peggy Rajski, Maggie Renzi. U.S., 1987, color, 135 min. RATED PG-13
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