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Organized Labor Film Series: Matewan (1987)

The first of two films on the history of organized labor, in preparation for the Oct. 22nd public forum on The Politics of Work. Hosted by the Platypus Affiliated Society.

Matewan is a wrenching historical drama that recounts the true story of a West Virginia coal town where the local miners’ struggle to form a union rose to the pitch of all-out war in 1920. When Matewan’s miners go on strike, organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper) arrives to help them, uniting workers white and black, Appalachia-born and immigrant, while urging patience in the face of the coal company’s violent provocations. With a crackerjack ensemble cast—including James Earl Jones, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, and Will Oldham—and Oscar-nominated cinematography by Haskell Wexler, Matewan taps into a rich vein of Americana with painstaking attention to local texture, issuing an impassioned cry for justice that still resounds today.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 6:30pm to 9:30pm

John C Hodges Library, 129
1015 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville TN

Event Type

Exhibits & Films


Humanities & Social Sciences


Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public






Contact Name

Grady Lowery

Contact Email

Contact Phone

(615) 585-5345

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