Films – Freedom of Association

Harlan County, USA
Director: Barbara Kopple, 1976
Academy Award-winning documentary of the struggle between striking unionized coal miners and their employer. Emphasizes the right of workers to organize lobor unions and the violence resistance they encounter.  See Teacher’s Guide.
Time: 103 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult
Subject Area: social studies


On the Waterfront
Director: Elia Kazan, 1954
Academy Award-winning film starring Marlon Brandon and Karl Maldon about organized crime’s penetration of a longshoreman’s union in New York during the 1950s. Several men break the community’s code of silence to stand up to the gangsters and expose the murder of a friend. Provides an introduction to the right to form trade unions, the problems of corruption in unions, and the need for courageous individuals to stand up to corrupt union bosses. See Teacher’s Guide.
Time: 108 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult
Subject Area: social studies