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Classic labor film Matewan will be screened July 12 in Grand Rapids

July 6, 2012

The “Left Forum” will be showing the classic labor film “Matewan” on July 12. The plot, related in flashback from the point of view of an elderly miner, is based on a 1920’s labor action against the Stone Mountain Coal Company of Matewan, West Virginia.

Chris Cooper plays a former IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) member sent by the United Mine Workers to organize the miners into a strike. Cooper has problems achieving solidarity at first; additionally, he is plagued by the underhanded activities of company spy Bob Gunton, and by a goonish detective agency hired by the company to “keep the peace.” Framed on a phony rape charge, Cooper becomes a “Joe Hill” icon around whom the miners (joined by several sympathetic law officers) rally. A conflict then takes place between the miners and the company thugs.

The film will be shown on a TV set. This event is free and open to the public. A discussion will follow with a short presentation about the historical events related to this film. Hope to see you there.


Thursday, July 12

At 7:00PM

At the IGE (Institute for Global Education)

1118 Wealthy St.

Grand Rapids, Mi. 49506

Located near the intersection of Fuller and Wealthy

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