Harlan County, USA
As Santa Barbara approaches the fifty-year commemoration of the 1969 oil spill, this retrospective screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary Harlan County, USA (1976) marks another energy catastrophe that shaped energy and labor policy. Fifty years ago, the Farmington Mine disaster near Mannington, West Virginia killed 78 coal miners and led to new labor protection laws. Barbara Kopple’s film about labor organizing in the coal fields of Appalachia centers the voices of workers and their families in a story about the real costs of energy.
Betsy Taylor (director of Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network) will join moderator Alice O’Connor (History, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion about the history and future of coal mining communities in Appalachia.