The Devil's Miner, directed by Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson, is the story of 14 year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12 year-old brother Bernardino, as they work in the Bolivian silver mines of Cerro Rico, which date back to the sixteenth century.
Through the children's eyes, we encounter the world of devout Catholic miners who sever their ties with God upon entering the mountain. It is an ancient belief that the devil, as represented by hundreds of statues constructed in the tunnels, determines the fate of all who work within the mines. (Never mind the fact that the 'Tio' is a version of the devil conjured up by the mines' owners hundreds of years ago as a means of worker oppression.)
Raised without a father and living in virtual poverty with their mother on the slopes of the mine, Basilio and Bernadino assume many adult responsibilities. They must work to afford the clothing and supplies vital to their education. Basilio believes only the mountain devil's generosity will allow them to earn enough money to continue the new school year. We encounter a world where survival is all and homework is a treat, for only education can provide an escape route. But the boys are determined to make the best of the hand they've been dealt.This documentary has already won many international awards. For more information about the film and details of where is going to be screened, visit: www.thedevilsminer.com
LONDON - 2 December 2005 - 248 words