"A fascinating and moving work. Its strength lies chiefly in its ability to illuminate the peculiar frightfulness and valour of coal-mining, and made it clear just why coal-miners can never be rightly treated as a less than a very special case." - The New York Times
This film offers an unflinching insight into a gruelling coal miners' strike in a small Kentucky town during 1976. With unprecedented access, director Barbara Kopple and her crew capture the miners' sometimes violent struggles with strike-breakers, local police and company thugs. This formative film is a striking example of direct cinema at its best. Purely observational in form, with no commentary or reconstruction, Harlan County USA remains as significant to today’s struggle for workers’ rights in the USA. Despite having so little budget that the production team had to blag rolls of film, the documentary went on to win an Oscar in 1976 and continues to inspire independent documentary filmmakers today.
BUT WHY IS THIS SCREENING IN SEPTEMBER 2018?
Scalarama (1-30 September 2018) is a celebration of cinema, for everyone, by everyone, everywhere, taking place every September.
This year, Scalarama celebrates the 40th anniversary of the legendary Scala Cinema (1978 - 1993) in Kings Cross, London, and we were bowled over to hear that one of the first films ever shown there was the groundbreaking, truly seminal Harlan County U.S.A. So joining Scalarama in celebrating cinema, we're excited to bring this rarely screened classic back to the big screen.