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