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USA, 1987 (MIFF 2008, Cannes Directors' Fortnight Tribute)

Director: John Sayles


“You want to be treated like men? You want to be treated fair? Well, you ain't men to the coal company, you're equipment.”

Featuring Chris Cooper, David Strathairn and an early screen role for musician Will Oldham (aka Bonnie ‘Prince' Billy) as a child preacher, Matewan looks at a volatile, 1920s labour dispute in the West Virginian town of Matewan. The workers, at the end of their tether, band together in a show of strength against the coal mining company that controls their lives.

“Though there were familiar Western elements to the story, it had a unique character because of its setting. The hills of West Virginia, the people and the music have a mood and rhythm to them that needs to be seen and heard to be felt completely.” - filmmaker John Sayles

D/S John Sayles P Peggy Rajski, Maggie Renzi WS Anarchists' Convention TD 35mm/1987/132mins

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