Coalmining Women

Director: Elizabeth Barret
Release Year: 1981
Running Time: 38:33
Original Format: 16mm Film
Color / B&W: color

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. Coalmining Women traces women’s significant contributions to past coalfield struggles and the importance of their newer position as working miners. It is an excellent film for audiences interested in women in nontraditional roles, women’s history, labor studies, and women as a force for social change.

Screenings & Festivals

American Film Festival–Honorable Mention

Athens International Film Festival–Special Merit Award

Baltimore International Film Festival–Second Prize

Channel 4/Great Britain

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

London Film Festival

Margaret Mead Film Festival

National Conference of Christians and Jews–Distinguished Merit Citation

Women in the Director’s Chair

World Congress of Sociology, Mexico City


Reviews

“Highly recommended.” –Catalyst: A Bibliography of Audio-Visual Materials Relating to Women and Work

“THE film on this topic for a long time to come. Thoroughly engrossing.” –AAAS Science Books and Film

“A powerful and insightful film.” –George Stoney, Filmmaker and Professor of Film and TV, New York University

“An important contribution to the growing archives of labor history and a stirring tribute to the women who fought for the right to mine this nation’s coal.” –Richard Trumka, President, United Mine Workers of America