Made for $4 million but looking as if it cost three times that, this is an excellent offering from one of America's best-known independent filmmakers, John Sayles (THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET; EIGHT MEN OUT). As the film opens, Danny Radnor (Will Oldham), a 15-year-old coal miner,
spreads the news that the Stone Mountain Coal Company of Matewan, West Virginia, has decided to lower the tonnage rate paid the miners--again. A strike is called. Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper), a pacifist and former Wobbly, is sent by the United Mine Workers to coordinate the action and to keep it
from becoming violent; however, a group of Italian immigrants continues to work, as do the ...