Barbara Kopple

  • Barbara Kopple – American Dream (1991)

    1991-2000Barbara KoppleDocumentaryUSA

    Depicting the effects of a mid-1980s strike by the employees of a Hormel meat-packing plant in Austin, Minnesota, Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award-winning documentary American Dream observes both the daily struggles of the striking workers and the behind-the-scenes conflicts amongst the union leaders. Upset at a proposed pay cut, the local union chapter begins the strike against the advice of their parent organization, hiring an outside consultant who encourages the workers. This consultant’s aggressive, no-compromise approach turns the conflict into national news but also alienates management.Read More »

  • Barbara Kopple – Desert One (2019)

    USA2011-2020Barbara KoppleDocumentaryPolitics

    Observational documentarian Barbara Kopple has a long history of making herself seem invisible, but the vérité intimacy and anti-establishment zeal of Oscar-winning classics like “Harlan County, USA,” and “American Dream” suggest that her signature work couldn’t have been made by anyone else; Kopple isn’t absent from these films so much as she’s sublimated into the air they breathe. “Desert One” is different — you couldn’t find Kopple’s fingerprints on this comprehensive but incurious account of the Iran hostage crisis if you watched the movie through a magnifying glass. Read More »

  • Barbara Kopple – Harlan County U.S.A. (1976)

    1971-1980Barbara KoppleDocumentaryUSA

    This film documents the coal miners’ strike against the Brookside Mine of the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky in June, 1973. Eastovers refusal to sign a contract (when the miners joined with the United Mine Workers of America) led to the strike, which lasted more than a year and included violent battles between gun-toting company thugs/scabs and the picketing miners and their supportive women-folk.Read More »

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