Andrew’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm a little on this fence about this film. I work as a manager in a non-union factory for my "real job". But I am liberal and believe in a workers right to organize and strike if needed. I also don't see much need for striking now a days. What I see is most companies wanting to take of their employees.
This film is about the coal miners strike in Harlan County Kentucky during the early 1970's. I feel like the movie was a bit one sided and that side favored the miners. But the film was not too heavy handed in pressing a political opinion. Normally I like that type of ambiguity in my documentaries. I feel at times though that this film lost a bit of its focus.
The characters in the movie are real salt of the earth, country folk and they speak in simple and backwoodsy ways. That left me wanting a strong and intelligent person to stand up and expound on the working conditions and reasons for the strike. Even the Union bosses sounded out matched by the coal companies lawyers.
This strike elevated in tension until guns were drawn and even a couple of people were murdered. The resolution of the conflict seemed to come too quickly in the movie for me too. After 13 months of striking, and 80 minutes of movie, the film was sown up in 10 minutes and the strike seemed to end without much change to anything.