February 17, 2012 2:14 pm
"I just remember being really struck by this gritty quality that it had - the raw honesty of it."
-Steve James on Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976)
Chicago's in for a special treat. This Sunday, February 19, Steve James and film critic Robert Elder will be in person at The Music Box Theatre for a double feature of Harlan County, USA and The Interrupters.
Earlier this year, Elder released his book "The Film That Changed My Life" where he spoke to some of the most notable directors of the day about influential works that they admire. Steve James chose Barbara Kopple's seminal documentary Harlan County, USA, which he'll discuss with Elder after the screening on Sunday.
Harrison Sherrod at Cine-File writes:
"In the wake of the turbulent protests of the late 60s, a smaller, but not unrelated struggle was being waged in rural Harlan County, Kentucky. In her brave, harrowing documentary, Barbara Kopple follows a community of miners as they go on strike after being prohibited from unionizing...Just as James presents a picture of Chicago foreign to bourgeois art house moviegoers in THE INTERRUPTERS, Kopple offers a grim, unfamiliar vision of Nixon-era America. With its ramshackle houses deviod of running water and with armed goon squads committing random acts of violence, Harlan County feels more like the lawless badlands of a feudal third world country than any dignified state of the USA."
The event begins at 1:30pm on Sunday, and you can find ticketing information here.