Matewan is a coal town where the local miners’ lives are controlled by the powerful Stone Mountain Coal Company.The company practically owns the town, reducing workers’ wages while raising prices at the company-owned supply and grocery. When the coal company brings immigrants and minorities to Matewan as cheaper labor, union organizer Joe Kenehan scours the town to unite all miners in a strike.As the crisis grows, strikers and their families are removed from their homes by two coal company mercenaries and the situation heads toward a final shoot-out on Matewan’s main street. –Thessaloniki International Film Festival
John Thomas Sayles (born September 28, 1950) is an American independent film director and screenwriter who frequently plays small roles in his own and other indie films.
Sayles was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Mary (née Rausch), a teacher, and Donald John Sayles, a school administrator. He was raised Catholic and took to labeling himself “a Catholic atheist”. Both of Sayles’ parents were of half Irish descent.
He attended Williams College, where a small incident provided an inkling as to his future career. In 1972, while participating in the school’s biannual trivia contest, Sayles’ team was tied with another after eight hours, forcing the game’s first sudden death overtime. Sayles was able to cite a particular line of dialogue from the 1960 film The Time Machine, thus clinching that semester’s championship.
Like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, among others, Sayles got his start in film working with Roger Corman. Sayles went on to fund his first… read more
John Sayles directs this fantastic film about coal miners in Matewan, W.Virginia 1920. Chris Cooper plays a union man who comes and tries to get the town to be ome a union, but the company men don't like it so they intervene. Great acting here from the cast especially Cooper who gives a fantastic performance. Sayles is an underrated director and I believe he doesn't get the credit he deserves. Fantastic film.
John Sayles wrote and directed an instant American classic with Matewan. In 1987, with Reaganomics and Wall St greed rampant (sound familiar?), with Communism still the great ideological enemy, Sayles… read review