Matewan (1987)

Feature Film
Writer/Director: John Sayles
Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler
Composer: Mason Daring
Cast: Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, Will Oldham, David Strathairn, Ken Jenkins, Gordon Clapp, Kevin Tighe, Bob Gunton, Josh Mostel, Nancy Mette, Jace Alexander, Joe Grifasi

Despite some cartoonishly inhuman villains, Sayles’s gorgeously shot, fact based film – depicting the battles between fired coal miners (intent on unionisation) and violent stooges (hired by the mine owners) in Matewan, West Virginia in 1920 – is an emotionally involving, excellently acted, and beautifully constructed polemic. Iain.Stott