Harlan County U.S.A.

52 Films by Women 2016, #46/52.

Anthropological social study as a thriller that feels painfully relevant at the moment. Kopple demonstrates the best skill a documentarian can have: let your subjects talk. Fantastic demonstration of victory's most common form, not one of euphoria and joy but exhaustion and compromise. The final standoff on the road is one of the more tense sequences in any recent film I've seen. Excellent music.