Filmed in Toronto in 1999 by Millbrook Farm Prods. and the Cort-Madden
Co. for Showtime.
in Beverly Hills on May 31, 2000
"Barbara Kopple’s 1976
documentary 'Harlan County USA'
directly inspired this Showtime film depicting a Kentucky coal-miner’s
wife who gets involved in a strike that turns violent. Fine performances
from the leads and some gracefully understated storytelling from
director Tony Bill make this a quality telepic."
...Steven Oxman, Variety
"What a fictionalized movie loses
in the raw persuasive power of cinéma vérité, it almost makes up for
with the astonishing Holly Hunter as its heroine, Ruby Kincaid, who
organized the miners’ wives to hold a picket line when their men were
enjoined or in jail or dead. Ted Levine is Holly’s angry husband, Wayne
Robson her black-lung father, and Stellan Skarsgård the gun-toting union
organizer who turns out to need Holly more than she needs him. The
mountains themselves perform, like Japanese scroll paintings."
...John Leonard, New York Magazine
"'They’d rather kill you than do
it right,' says a union organizer (Stellan Skarsgård)
talking to aggrieved coal miners about the company’s safety record. 'I’m
sick to death of being pushed around,' says a striker’s wife (Holly
Hunter), urging the miners’ women to take up picket duty after a biased
judge restricts protests by union members. The characters in this drama
put their case in stark terms without a lot of fancy rhetoric. That’s
one reason 'Harlan County War' hits home." ...Terry