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    Barbara Kopple is one of the United States’ leading documentary makers. In Harlan County, USA, her compassionate and powerful portrayal of striking coal miners gained her a reputation as a critical, committed filmmaker, and influenced an entire generation of directors. Harlan County, USA won the 1977 Hollywood Academy Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Film, and in 1991 it was declared an American film classic by the US Congress, and was added to the National Register of American films.

    Harlan County, USA was the first of her many films, projecting an indelible image and captivating both audiences and critics. In 1991 Kopple was awarded another Academy Oscar for American Dream, in which she explores the economic decline of an industrial area in the United States, as reflected in the struggles of workers in Minnesota. In recent years Kopple, founder of the Cabin Creek Films production company, has focused her keen gaze on reality across a variety of fascinating themes. A Conversation with Gregory Peck paints a captivating portrait of one of the United States’ most celebrated actors.

    My Generation, her latest film, makes use of myth and the Woodstock music festival as a prism to examine deep generational changes in the last 30 years. For the one and a half million Americans who went to Woodstock in 1969, 1994 and 1999, the festival was the definitive cultural experience. Kopple’s film examines how young people have been defined through music, celebration, and the ritual surrounding this cultural event. “Every generation wants to do something that the previous generations never did, and that’s what happened at Woodstock”, says Kopple. As a means of political or sexual liberation, or sliding around in a sea of mud, Woodstock still provides a striking sense of community and ritual.

    In addition to her work with Peck, Kopple also zoomed in on two of America’s most enigmatic cultural icons: Woody Allen and Mike Tyson. In Wild Man Blues, Kopple followed Allen on a European tour along with Soon Yi Previn and his New Orleans Jazz Band. Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson documents the turbulent life and violent decline of the boxing champion. She also directed Defending our Daughters, a sincere look at the abuse of female human rights in Bosnia, Egypt and Pakistan.