Although slow at times, Matewan is one of the more historically accurate films we’ve watched this semester. The movie accurately portrayed the company stores and poor conditions in which the miners worked and lived. The movie also depicted the harsh brutality between the workers and the bosses (bosses holding guns as workers walked out of the mine) and also between the workers themselves. A great example of this brutal competition is when the train first arrives in Matewan and a group of men ambush those who are coming off the train. The characters in the film are fictional but the skepticism concerning joining the union was real. For the most part Matewan was pretty boring but it gave great insight into a very interesting part of history.
Prof. McClurken’s HIST 329 — Fall 2008
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