The Devil’s Miner

Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson

USA/Germany 2005, 82 min.

Over eight million workers have died in the mines over the years, and countless others have perished as a direct result of their hazardous working conditions. The average life expectancy is under forty.

With nine thousand miners currently working today, filmmakers Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson wisely chose to focus The Devil’s Miner on a personal story, that of 14-year-old Basilio Vargas. Basilio is now head of his family after the death of his father and he lives with his siblings and mother on the mountainside, supporting them through regular work in the mines. Articulate, intelligent and sensitive, his words give us insight into life in the mine and the nearby city of Potsoi, the highest in the world.

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