This is the first film to tell the story of the West Virginia Mine Wars and put it into the greater context of U.S. history. These events are part of one of the most violent and difficult periods America has ever seen. It was a time when workers were sacrificing their lives in order to win many of the basic rights and freedoms that we take for granted today. The tensions from this conflict eventually exploded in the mountains of southern West Virginia in what is still the largest armed uprising in the U.S. since the Civil War.
By watching Mine Wars you will not only learn about fascinating events like the Matewan Massacre, Battle of Blair Mountain, March on Mingo and the Paint Creek Cabin Creek Strike but you will also see how the Industrial Revolution, Communist Revolution, WWI and terrorism impacted the struggle of American coal miners. It was a time when workers were being exploited at every hand and the nation had to decide whether the rights of individuals or the political power of rich industrialists would prevail. Caught in the middle of all these forces were the coal miners of West Virginia. Their decision to fight back made history and brought them face to face with the U.S. military.
This critically acclaimed film features over 800 early photographs, music from the Mine Wars era, interviews with leading historians and quotes from those who participated in the events. In addition, it also includes footage that was shot by Thomas Edison's production company. These are some of the earliest films ever made and they provide a unique view into this important period of American history that everyone should see.