Appalshop at 50
Coal Miner: Frank Jackson
Directed by Benjamin Zickafoose
Directed by Elizabeth Barret
Sunday, June 23, 1 pm
“A powerful and insightful film.”—Gorge Stoney, Professor of Film and TV, New York University on Coalmining Women
Coal Miner: Frank Jackson documents the life of a man who went into the coal mines of southwestern Virginia when he was 15 years old. This early Appalshop film juxtaposes Jackson’s personal recollections of union organizing and mining work with scenes of him in and around the mines. The viewer rides a low boy cart into the entryway of a deep mine, and as daylight shrinks and disappears around a bend, one gets a sense of what it must feel like to work underground. Coal Miner: Frank Jackson is a simple yet telling document of the experiences of a working man. This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation. 1971, U.S., digital video, 12 minutes. Recommended for 12+.
Coalmining Women traces women’s significant contributions to past coalfield struggles and the importance of their newer position as working miners. Interviewed at home and on the job, women coal miners tell of the conditions that led them to seek employment in this traditionally male-dominated industry—and the problems they encountered once hired. Watching these women bolt mine roofs, shovel beltlines, haul rock dust, and build ventilation barriers leaves little doubt that they can, indeed, do the work. Proud of their accomplishments, the women also seem to bring a special understanding to the problems all miners face. 1981, U.S., digital video, 39 minutes. Recommended for 12+.