Monday, March 20, 2006

The Devil’s Miner (12A)

Richard Ladkani & Kief Davidson, 2005, Germany/US (82 mins) Documentary.

14-year old Basilio and his younger brother Bernardino are pretty much average lads – running in the school corridors, playing football, watching telly and teasing their little sister. Except they’re also the family breadwinners, working down the local mine in Cerro Rica. This contemporary documentary, told chiefly from their viewpoint, illuminates their curious local community: caught on the cusp between ancient and modern, performing traditional carnival dances wearing tracksuits and baseball caps. Although their profession’s noisy, dark and perilous, the Bolivian boys themselves are level-headed, likeable and philosophical, so the result’s less down-beat, and more insightful, than it might have been. Andy Murray

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