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The Devil's Miner (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 22 April 2005 (USA)
'The Devil's Miner' tells the story of 14-year-old Basilio who worships the devil for protection while working in a Bolivian silver mine to support his family.
9 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




'The Devil's Miner' tells the story of 14-year-old Basilio who worships the devil for protection while working in a Bolivian silver mine to support his family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

miner | mine | ore cart | priest | poverty | See All (11) »


The story of a child's survival




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Release Date:

22 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az ördög bányászai See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,393, 19 March 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Did You Know?


Composed by Horacio Salinas
Performed by Inti-Illimani
Publisher: Coda, Spain
Courtesy of Inti Illimani Inc. and Green Linnet Records ©2004
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User Reviews

This is why documentary exists
26 September 2017 | by benjaminburtSee all my reviews

Without film, we could never have The Devil's Miner. Magazines, books, photos, songs, and stories cannot convey the raw emotion and the broad story like a film can.

The story is of a Bolivian boy from Potosi who must work as a miner to help support his family. One of the main ideas captured in the film is the dichotomy between the surface world and the mine. The surface world is ruled by Jesus, but within the mine, the miners are at the mercy of the "Tio," or the devil. This framing device actually gives more direct meaning to the story: the miners have become subjugated to the earth and to the devil.

What's refreshing in this story is that there's no mustache-twirling evil businessman enslaving these miners. The evil is in the earth itself, both above and below the surface. The mine conspires to kill the miners, rob them of light and of their lungs and limbs, while the outside world also shows no mercy to the miners, as they are forced to work to make a living. The film doesn't portray this as some social evil, the rich preying on the weak, but rather the fallen world preying on its inhabitants. Whether or not the devil is real, the film obviously communicates that the miners, and by extension, all of us, are at the mercy of a fallen earth.

This documentary is nicely shot, and makes its audience feel uncomfortable in all the right ways. It makes you see and feel the situation. It's what documentary is all about.

The film doesn't have much re-watch value and is not especially influential, so I don't feel good giving anything more than an 8, but definitely a great film.

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