The Devil's Miner (2006)
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Critic Reviews for The Devil's Miner
While political and social context is kept to a minimum, the darkly poetic images they capture speak volumes about what the miners go through.
Guaranteed to leave you outraged at the way children -- and, for that matter, adults -- are exploited by mining companies.
Audience Reviews for The Devil's Miner
[font=Century Gothic]"The Devil's Miner" is a documentary about Basilio, a 14-year old mine worker in the silver mines in Bolivia, who has been working there for the last four years while his 12-year old brother assists him. Sometimes he works 24 hour shifts, gnawing on coca leaves to give him energy to stay awake. Life expectancy is 35-40 years for the average miner because of silicosis which is due to inhaled dust particles. Conditions in the mines are bad anyway because of risky explosions and poisonous gas. If his father had not died some years before, he would not have to work in the mines.(The mines were started in colonial times by the Spanish who exploited the Indio population as slaves. You can see how little things have changed over the years.)[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Devil's Miner" is a heartbreaking documentary that is told entirely from the point of view of Basilio, his family, other workers and a local priest. I might have had concerns about using a child to talk about a miner's life as a cheap ploy to get sympathy but it works as a look into a possible future, not only for him but for all of the other miners. Basilio goes to school and wants to become a teacher. He sees the mines as a temporary situation. Let's hope so.[/font]
I'm not sure what to say about it. My sister didn't like it much so she fast forwarded through most of the second half. I don't know that I can call it a bad movie, it just didn't offer much more than: Poor 14 year old kid who has to work in a mine and underground worship the devil because it is his territory beneath the ground.
Basically I felt guilty and somewhat bored. I don't think I gave the movie a good enough chance but I don't think it was great. I probably sound pretty heartless saying it was boring. Perhaps someday I will have to give it a proper chance. Honestly, it isn't that I don't feel horrible for children who have to work in a horrible and dangerous place, I just don't need 82 minutes of guilt and sympathy and admiration for poor kids to know that the world really sucks for a lot of people. But, like I said, I didn't really get to see it all so the ending might have had something great to it but I don't think I will ever actually go back and finish it and find out.
Maybe I could sum it up by saying that there wasn't anything really great or unique about the documentary but the subject matter was kind of interesting and certainly the story of children laboring in dangerous mines is heartbreaking.
If you?re in the mood for an eye opening documentary? this will do the trick. I was captivated throughout the entire movie; following these children who must work in the mines of Bolivia is both heart wrenching and inspiring at the same time. Any parents out there who have children complaining about homework or school, should show their kids this film? seeing young Basilio work a 14-24 hour shift in the mines, then still have the energy to somehow go to school the next morning is an eye opener. The family that this film follows was so fascinating to me? the children at a young age are wise way beyond their years and show the kind of determination and commitment to family that is getting more and more rare here in America. Immersing yourself in this film will also help you to realize that even the poorest burger flipping minimum wage worker here in America lives like a pampered king; compared to these individuals. There is also the spiritual side of the film which I found fascinating. The miners are God fearing individuals when living outside the mine, but once they enter the mines they pray and worship the devil because they believe the devil is God in the mines. Wow. I?m giving this one my ?must see? stamp, and if you?re a documentary fan like I am, this is a no brainer.
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