Harlan County War
Academy Award winner Holly Hunter stars as Ruby, the wife of a coal miner in Harlan County, Kentucky. In the 1970s nearly everyone in Harlan County, Ky., works in the coal mines for Brookside Mining. Wages are poor and safety conditions are even worse. Families are fed up with surviving on $1.89 per hour, with no health and disability benefits. Death tolls because of mining accidents reached 300 a year at the time, and black lung disease killed many more. When union organizer Warren Jacopovich (Stellan Skarsgard) shows up, he’s gradually able to convince the miners to strike.
After two senseless deaths, the union calls a strike against the mining company. Among the strikers is Silas Kincaid (Ted Levine), whose wife, Ruby Kincaid (Holly Hunter), becomes a key player during the strike. She becomes a member of the organizing committee and regularly joins the picket lines herself.
This fictional story is set against the backdrop of the Brookside Mine Strike, which was depicted in Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County, USA.