Harlan County, USA By Barbara Kopple Racking Up Prestigious Awards

The eye-opening documentary by “Harlan County, USA” by Barbara Kopple showcases the historic Kentucky coal miner strike. It would be receiving the fifth Annual Legacy Award from Cinema Eye Honours. The award is for Nonfiction Filmmaking.

The award will be accepted by Barbara on behalf of the film at the 7th Annual Cinema Eye Honours ceremony on the 8th of January, 2014. It would be received at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. Such awards are given to honour films which motivate and inspire radical filmmakers who excel in creative and artistic fields.

“Barbara has been leading the way for all of us in quality, generosity and wisdom of her work. She is a living example of a person who has fought against all odds to excel in a rather man’s field. Andrea Meditch, Chair of Cimema Eye Board said. The first Legacy award was presented by Kopple to Ross McElwee for his outstanding documentary, “Sherman’s March” in 2010. “The War Room”, “Titcut Follies”, “Grey Gardens” are the other documentaries which had won the Legacy award the previous times.

Roger Ebert reviewed “Harlan County USA” in 1977 and wrote that the film isn’t just a documentary of a strike, but it is a striking, realistic and an unforgettable portrayal of the community we live in. It is not just an informative documentary but also very interesting and entertaining. With clear characterizations and sudden confrontation made the documentary worth watching.

There are plenty of violent scenes and in the film with an equal dose of warmth and laughter. The songs have historical significance and Kopple has achieved to integrate the songs beautifully and meaningfully in the documentary. The people in the film are extremely brave, valiant and proud.

“Harlan County, USA” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature two decades ago and was also entered into the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress. The DVD was released in 2006. The screening of “Harlan County USA” would be screened in the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto in 2014 with an exclusive conversation with Barbara Kopple.

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