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Polar Star Films
Rosselló 320, Local 1
08025 Barcelona, Spain
+34 93 200 47 77

The Devil's Miner

Director: Richard Ladkani y Kief Davidson
52/82 min, Betacam, 2005

“The Devil’s Miner” 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.
Raised without a father and living in virtual poverty with their mother on the slopes of the mine, the boys 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. Without an education, the brothers have no chance to escape their destiny in the silver mines.

A production by Urban Landscapes & La Mita Loca Film Production, co-produced with Polar Star Films, in association with Provobis Film Hamburg.

With the participation of ARTE / BR / 3SAT / OF, Latino Public Broadcasting, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Independent Lens and Television Española.

Key Crew

Directed & produced: Richard Ladkani y Kief Davidson
Co-producer Germany: Werner Vennewold
Co-producer Spain: Carles Brugueras & Bettina Walter
Cinematography: Richard Ladkani
Edit: Kief Richardson
Music: Leonardo Heiblum & Andres Solis

Festivals & Prices

Winner Chicago Film Festival - Silver Hugo Award
Winner German Camera Award Special Mention
Winner Tribeca Film Festival Best Doc. Filmmakers Special Mention
Winner FIPRESCI PRIZE Int. Film Critic Award Hot Docs-Toronto
Winner Humanitarian Award Mexico City Festival
Winner Woodstock Film Festival Best Doc.
Winner Jerusalem Film Festival Spirit of Freedom Award
PBS Independent Lens Audience Award Nominated European Film Academy Nominated
DGA Awards-Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Directing
Official Selection AFI Los Angeles Film Festival
IDA Award Nomination Pare Lorentz Award 2005
World Premiere Rotterdam International Film Festival