Nimrod Workman (Film)

Nimrod Workman

  •  Scott Faulkner and Anthony Slone
  •  1975
  • Color IconColor
  •  34:59
  •  16 mm film
Film Description
Nimrod Workman won a National Heritage Award for his original songs, but in the film that shares his name, he often breaks into impromptu performances of traditional ballads, dances, and delivers monologues that are just as superlative. Born in 1895, Workman provided for a family of thirteen by working in the coal mines of West Virginia, and he reminisces about his experience with union organizing in the 1920s and 30s with anecdotes that match many of the experiences of miners of later years, too. To Fit My Own Category is an extended visit at his home as Workman and his family prepare meals, build an addition to the house, dig for yellow root, swap jokes with the neighbors, and enjoy each other’s company. This film will be of interest to students of labor and coalmining history, West Virginia history, and folklore and music, but Workman's inimitable personality make the documentary a must-see for all of us.

Screenings & Festivals
  • American Film Festival
  • Conference on Visual Anthropology, Temple University
  • National Film Theatre, British Film Institute
  • Sonoma Valley Film Festival

This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. To support the work of preserving and safeguarding the collections, please consider designating a donation to Appalshop Archive.


“Nimrod Workman has worked for 42 years in the coal mines, but has come through with a joyous spirit and no bitterness … For every occasion, a folksong is inevitably ready.” — The New York Times
“His impromptu early-morning greeting from his porch is liable to make you think twice about pre-conceptions of the aged … The only drawback to this film is that it can’t be hours longer.” — Barbourville Mountain Advocate
“Nimrod continues to amaze! My students, most from middle-class, midwestern homes, were really impressed with his spirit, energy, and character.” — University of Missouri