KOPPLE, BARBARA (1946– ), U.S. director-producer. Born in New York City and raised in Scarsdale, New York, Kopple graduated with a degree in psychology from Northeastern University. She began her career by working for documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles as an assistant editor. She then co-directed Winter Soldier (1972), a documentary about U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. Her first solo project, Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976), which documented a 1973 coal miners' strike against the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky, earned Kopple an Academy Award for a feature-length documentary. In 1981, she directed the made-for-television film Keeping On, a fictional story built around a labor dispute in a Southern town. Kopple's American Dream (1991), the story of the Hormel Food strike in the mid-1980s, earned her a second Academy Award and a Directors Guild of America award for outstanding directorial achievement in documentaries. In 1993, she received her second Directors Guild of America award for Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson. For Wild Man Blues (1997), Kopple followed Woody *Allen around Europe as he toured with his jazz band. In 1998, she released Woodstock '94 and followed up with My Generation (2000), a documentary that explored the differences and similarities of the youth cultures present at the different Woodstock concerts. In 2005, Kopple's Bearing Witness looked at female journalists working in combat zones.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.