Devil’s Miner

Devils Miner

Devil’s Miner

  Basilio Vargas is 14 years old, his brother Bernardino just 12th And yet, the two brothers from Bolivia, day after day in the silver mines of Cerro Rico (work of “rich mountain”) in Potosí. There, at 4300 meters above sea level, there was once in better days Silbererzvorräte the largest in the world. The city was once as important as London, Paris or Berlin. Today the work of around 6,500 children between the ages and 16 years, sometimes under dreadful working conditions – at least 800 of them underground. The reward for the ten-hour shifts is $ 4 per day, work is a foreign word and the fear of Stolleneinstürzen and the ubiquitous Arsengas in the air is ubiquitous. But when Basilio and Bernardino were not on a daily basis to overcome their fear, the family would have nothing to eat, because the father of two – also a minor – died at the age of 35 in a lung. And it will not need much imagination to imagine that even Bernardino and Basilio do not have overly high life expectancy. On average, one expects the miners in Bolivia, with a life expectancy of 38 years.

For seven years, the Austrian photographer and filmmaker Richard Ladkani has in common with his American colleague, Kief Davidson worked to realize a film about the small miners of Potosi. He has discovered the incredible lives of the children that he shows in his film, more casually, on a photo tour of the Andes. In 2004 it was finally ready. The two filmmakers with experienced first hand the terrible working conditions of children who experienced the claustrophobic tightness in the shafts and the omnipresent fear of the small and large workers. What they witnessed down there, came with their vision of hell pretty close, toxic fumes, a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, and the constant presence of death makes the mines a place of horror. But there are brief moments when you realize that younger workers are still children when they seek around in her sparse spare time to process a playful they have experienced.

The first and natural reaction to the film, it would require that the children should be immediately taken out of the mines, which from our standpoint is absolutely correct. But the grinding poverty in this region to this type of solution can hardly think, because how else are to survive, the family, which also knows Richard Ladkani. He and his co-director are aware of this fact, and they have come together in the course of their film with the Kindernothilfe to allow the children at least one school-based training so that they may one day the tunnels of Cerro Rico, never have to re-enter .

Devil’s Miner’s Mountain of the Devil is a documentation that provides more than almost a second to make the lives of children from the so-called “Third World” physically felt. One way out of the vicious circle of poverty and child labor does not know even this film, but at least he shows that there is hope for Bernardino and Basilio.

Title: Devil’s Miner Original Title: The Mountain of the Devil Country of production: Germany, USA Year of production: 2004 Length: 82 (Min) of material: Salzgeber

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