Cinema: Life As A Bed of Coal MATEWAN

Directed and Written by John Sayles

These faces know hard times. They look sculpted from granite. They are sere with too much work, too little food and the knowledge that in 1920 in Matewan, W. Va., life is a bed of coal. Man and boy go into the mines and die; mother and wife wait for the sound of their men coming home, or for the fatal word that they won't. Life has pressed all hope out of these faces -- to smile would be a crime against remorseless nature -- though there is no free time for despair. The miners have been taught to accept their...