MATEWAN PLOT SUMMARY

The union determined to resist further encroachments on the Central Competitive Field agreement and also to make a determined effort to organise the non-union fields. One of the miners hurries to the camp to find Few Clothes James Earl Jones , who had drawn the short straw for who would kill Kenehan for his assumed treachery. In Matewan every miner became unionized and the company through them all out of their homes. For the miners of West Virginia the strike was too late. Hillier, The New Hollywood London , p. The United Mine Workers were going through heavy times then. John Sayles is without doubt the most important radical film maker at work in the United States today. In the late sixties I hitchhiked through the area several times and most of the people who gave me rides were coal miners or people with mining in their families.

Connections Referenced in Game On: The miners blew up the tipples of operating mines and the trains carrying coal that had been mined by scabs. Moreover, Joe may be a spy. The man Elma shot was still armed and preparing to shoot down an unsuspecting deputy. Add the first question. His film was not a documentary but is best regarded as a powerful fictional celebration of working class struggle and solidarity that made dramatic use of the historic Matewan episode.

On 15 February the Governor gave in and the troops were pulled out. There are other questions, issues and themes in the llot but ‘that is the spine you have to keep coming back to, the central question that drives the plot’. First Sid Hatfield was offered bribes to allow the agency to establish a guard post equipped with machine guns in the town and then on 19 May the attempt was made to kill him.

Magewan believed they were fighting the onslaught of Communism. Throughout the county armed miners fought it out with company guards and state police, enforcing the closure of the mines.

Matewan: film and working class struggle

By union membership was down to 10, of whom over 7, were unemployed. He stands his ground and says that he’s been called a nigger before, but: Even worse, Joe told the men that Bridey did it with one of the coloreds. The story behind the moviePolitical Affairs January and R. The strikers posted sentries who patrolled the streets and company towns, preventing lawlessness and scabbing.

The miners blew up the tipples of operating mines and the trains carrying coal that had been mined by scabs. She wants him to stay alive.

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Matewan – Wikipedia

His intention was to give the film a parable quality, a moral dimension that questioned both the use of violence to win the strike and the viability of pacifism when confronted by the Baldwin-Felts mmatewan. What higher praise could there be? Their presence in Matewan was deliberately provocative.

As the union recruited so the mine companies responded with sackings and evictions. Livelyan summart provocateur for the coal company who has infiltrated the uniontries to goad the miners towards violence, which Kenehan says will only weaken their cause. His efforts to provoke violence continue, and culminate in the chilling murder of a teenage miner, Hillard, who is caught stealing coal from the company amtewan.

Decide for yourself with our photos from the hottest red carpet of the year! It had no summady to resist the operators, who could even count on the support of Lewis himself when they needed it. In both states the UMW met with the most fierce resistance.

The organising campaign in the southern counties had been defeated and the mine owners followed up their victory by driving the union out of the rest of the state. Matewan has always been a rough town, and even today fights are commonplace in this little one street town. Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather summaary a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

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An exhausted man places dynamite in holes in the coal wall in front of him. On the fourth occasion hundreds of miners opened fire on the town from the surrounding hills until the company complied. They are talking about using violence. Hatfield shoots two men and survives the battle, but Kenehan is killed and the mayor is shot in the stomach. They had been busy evicting the families of striking miners from company housing on behalf of the Stone Mountain Coal Company and were now on their way back to the Baldwin-Felts headquarters in Bluefield.

The strength of your union is not the best organised districts. The film begins underground with a coalface being blown. By UMW membership nationally had fallen to 80, with Illinois the only area where it had any real strength. Among the memorable characters is Joe Kenehan Chris Coopera young union organizer who comes to Matewan to buck the bosses.

The coal workers are trying to bring the union in to help them fight management. Its once great treasury, the pride of America’s unions, was thin and insecure. Elma says she has one room, but that’s all. Also on the train are black miners being brought in as strikebreakers and Kenehan watches as they are physically attacked by the strikers. The campaign to secure his release continued throughout the s and s.

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The soft coal mine companies in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania were forced to accept a ‘landmark’ agreement that conceded ‘the eight-hour day, a standard wage for men who worked on a daily basis, and a standard tonnage rate with local wage differentials’. Joe attends a meeting of the miners who are anxious to complain about the company.

In Matewan every miner became unionized and the company through them all out of their homes. Throughout the county armed miners fought it out with company guards and state police, enforcing the closure of the mines. Non-union coal was available from Colorado and Alabama and above all from West Virginia.

It was finally ended by martial law. On 31 August the miners’ army attempted to break through into Logan County at Blair Mountain and fighting flared up along a 20 mile front. For the great revolt see A. The decision is taken to eliminate him.

They will have to go into the capital, Charleston, West Virginia to get a writ from the judge there. Throughout the rest of the year there were strikes by streetcar operators, textile and clothing workers, telephone operators and others. Meanwhile, Sephus has made his way back to town and informed the others of Lively’s betrayal, furiously burning down his restaurant.

Despite 12 witnesses and conclusive photographic evidence proving he was elsewhere, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. By the end of they claimed a union membership of 22, out of a mine workforce of , uniting black and white, native and immigrant, in the face of the most brutal repression.

Alex Breedlove, a black miner who had been one of the first men in Mingo to join the union, was singled out and matewsn executed. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. John Sayles is without doubt the most important radical film maker at work in the United States today.