“An opportunity to glimpse working conditions in a remote and rarely visited corner of Europe.” —Hollywood Reporter
Director Gaël Mocaër descends the hazardous mines near Bouzhanska Novovolynsk in northwestern Ukraine, capturing the determination, companionship, and dissatisfaction found in this profession. Aside from the traditional Soviet-era holiday “Coal Miner’s Day,” when these (well-paid) workers are honored, they are ignored and belittled by their bosses, who have little concern for their safety. Using outdated tools also from the Soviet era, these men candidly swear and complain, urging Mocaër to “Shoot, shoot!” amid collapsing ceilings and coughing fits. Death is a constant possibility in this world that is rarely brought to the surface. 2014, video, in Ukrainian and Russian with English subtitles, 80 minutes.