The Devil's Miner (2006)

The Devil's Miner



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

"The Devil's Miner" follows two brothers, 14-year-old Basilio and his 12-year-old brother Bernardino, who live in poverty with their mother in the mountains of Bolivia. They work long shifts in the Cerro Rico silver mines, braving deadly conditions to earn enough money to attend school. Daily the brothers go into the underground mining tunnels and tempt fate in order to gain a better life. Through the children's eyes, we encounter the sixteenth century mine, where devout Catholics sever their … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Musical & Performing Arts, Art House & International, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
Written By: Richard Ladkani, Kief Davidson
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 23, 2006
First Run Features - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for The Devil's Miner

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (11)

A mesmerizing documentary both exotic and sad.

Full Review… | May 19, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

This is social documentary at its best.

Full Review… | April 28, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

... visually beautiful, unforced essay on legacies of colonialism.

Full Review… | April 27, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

While political and social context is kept to a minimum, the darkly poetic images they capture speak volumes about what the miners go through.

March 28, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

This beautiful, terrible story is not easily forgotten.

Full Review… | March 22, 2006
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Guaranteed to leave you outraged at the way children -- and, for that matter, adults -- are exploited by mining companies.

March 17, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic

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][/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]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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