Barbara Kopple

Documentarian, Director, Editor
Documentarist whose celebrated films have focused almost exclusively on the struggle of workers to form unions. Kopple began making films in her clinical psychology class while at college in West Virginia and went to ... Read more »
Born: 07/29/1946 in Bear Mountain, New York, USA

Filmography

other (57)

Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde 2013 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Running from Crazy 2013 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Running from Crazy 2013 (Movie)

(Producer)

Running from Crazy 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

A Force of Nature 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

A Force of Nature 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Gun Fight 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)

Gun Fight 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

The D.C. Sniper's Wife: A Barbara Kopple Film 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Producer

High School Musical: The Music in You 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Director

The Addiction Project 2007 (Tv Show)

Director

Shut Up & Sing 2006 (Movie)

Additional Cinematography (Cinematographer)

Shut Up & Sing 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Shut Up & Sing 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Homicide: Life on the Street 1996 - 1999, 2003 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

I Married... 1996 - 1999, 2003 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Director

Havoc 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception 2004 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Dance Cuba: Dreams of Flight 2003 (Movie)

(Producer)

American Standoff 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

Learning For Life: Kids and Learning Differences 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Cinema Verite: Defining the Moment 2000 (Movie)

(Actor)

Friends For Life: Living With AIDS 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Director

My Generation 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

My Generation 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

My Generation 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Oz 1999 (Tv Show)

Director

A Conversation With Gregory Peck 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Keeping America's Promise 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

Wild Man Blues 1998 (Movie)

(Sound Recordist)

Wild Man Blues 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Wild Man Blues 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Gail Sheehy's New Passages 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Director

Sports Illustrated Olympic Special: A Prelude to the Games 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel (07/30/95) 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

A Century of Women 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Segment Director

American Dream 1992 (Movie)

(Sound)

American Dream 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

American Dream 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

In Our Hands 1983 (Movie)

(Field Producer)

El Salvador - La Decision de Vencer (Los Primos Frutos) 1980 (Movie)

production assistance (Production Assistant)

El Salvador: Another Vietnam 1980 (Movie)

(Sound)

No Nukes 1980 (Movie)

sound recording(Madison Square Garden/Battery Park) (Sound)

No Nukes 1980 (Movie)

documentary footage director (Segment Director)

Harlan County, U.S.A. 1977 (Movie)

sound recording (Sound)

Harlan County, U.S.A. 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Harlan County, U.S.A. 1977 (Movie)

(Producer)

Harlan County, U.S.A. 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Bearing Witness (TV Show)

Director

Boy Interrupted (TV Show)

Camera

Keeping On (TV Show)

Director

The Hamptons (TV Show)

Director

Woodstock: Now and Then (TV Show)

Director

Biography

Documentarist whose celebrated films have focused almost exclusively on the struggle of workers to form unions. Kopple began making films in her clinical psychology class while at college in West Virginia and went to live among her coal-mining subjects in Kentucky to film her Oscar-winning debut, "Harlan County, U.S.A." (1976). The film chronicles the miners' violent struggle to join the United Mine Workers union and the effect of the strike on the lives of them and their families. Praised for putting a human face on a political issue, it was one of 25 films chosen by the Library of Congress to be placed on its Film Registry in 1990.

Relationships

Murray Burnett

Uncle
co-author of "Everybody Comes to Rick's", play on which the screenplay for "Casablanca" was based

Gene Carroll

Husband

Hart Perry

Husband
divorced

Nicholas Perry

Son
born c. 1981

EDUCATION

New School for Social Research

New York , New York
took course in cinema verite

attended college in West Virginia

Northeastern University

Boston , Massachusetts
did not graduate; decided to return to NY

Milestones

2002

Produced an HBO documentary "American Standoff"

2000

Helmed the documentary "My Generation"

1999

Signed to make fictional feature directorial debut "In the Boom Boom Room", adapted from David Rabe's play

1998

Executive produced and directed "Friends for Life: Living With AIDS" (The DIsney Channel)

1998

Earned widespread praise for "Wild Man Blues", a documentary about the 1996 European tour of Woody Allen's jazz band

1993

Produced and directed "Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson," a rare primetime documentary for NBC-TV for which she was given creative control

1983

Directed first fiction film and first TV movie, "Keeping On" for PBS's "American Playhouse", which dealt with unionization of textile mill workers in the south

1979

Co-directed documentary footage of concert film, "No Nukes", with Haskell Wexler

1979

"Crystal Lee" abandoned when Martin Ritt began production on "Norma Rae", loosely based on the same woman and the same mill workers' strike

1978

Announced fictional feature project under the working title, "Crystal Lee", based on Crystal Lee Jordan's struggle to unionize workers in J P Stevens textile mill in Roanoke Rapids NC and her gradual politicization over a five year period; Kopple was to p

1976

Produced and directed documentary, "Harlan County, USA"; film shown at the New York Film Festival; cost $350,000

1972

Moved to Harlan County in Kentucky to film union struggle at the Brookside mine

1972

Was one of the 18 anonymous directors of "Winter Solider"

Was camerawoman on a video about the Young Republicans for Nixon at the Republican convention and soundwoman on film about the Year of the Woman at the Democratic convention

Raised in Scarsdale, New York

Began making films in a clinical psychology class in college

Directed documentary set in the Hamptons (lensed 2001) for ABC TV; set to air in 2002

Worked professionally as an editor, soundwoman and camerawoman on documentary films often for the Maysles brothers

Bonus Trivia

.

"My overall goal, is to let people speak and let them be heard, because what they are saying is really important, as important or more important than anything President Bush has to say. It's to film stories about people that you wouldn't ordinarily get to see. To think that these people's stories are going to be shown, that other people will hear them, as a film maker that gives me a tremendous amount of strength to carry on."--Barbara Kopple (quoted in NEW YORK TIMES, March 24, 1992)

.

"I knew there was a poignant story out there about what was happening in Middle America to people who believed in the American dream, the American work ethic, the whole notion of upward mobility, and who were watching those beliefs become unraveled. We had no idea of the kind of, not physical brutality, but mental brutality people would endure to try to keep decent jobs with decent pay, the kinds of things they learned to believe in all their lives."--Barbara Kopple discussing "American Dream" (quoted in NEW YORK TIMES, March 24, 1992)

.

Kopple also produced "Hurricane Irene", a high-definition videotape of an international peace festival filmed in Japan and featuring live performances by Jackson Browne and Peter Gabriel. She also produced and directed "Civil Rights: The Struggle Continues" (c. 1989), a video documentary about the 25th anniversary activities held in commemoration of the civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman slain in Mississippi in 1964.

.

"Harlan County, USA" was named by Congress to the National Film Registry designating it an American classic (1990)

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