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Top 43 Best Mining Movies Of All Time

AishwaryaAishwarya-Updated Jan 19, 2023


Top 43 Best Mining Movies Of All Time

 

Mines are fascinating places with many secrets. They hide treasures, they hide dangers, and they hold the key to unlocking the true nature of people as well.

 

While greedy corporations want wealth, poor miners want daily wages. So, everyone comes to mine with their own hopes and wishes.

 

But once we enter a mine, it is in the hands of the mine whether we get out safely or encounter dangers.

 

This unpredictable and dangerous environment makes the best films. We have seen many films based on the theme of mining, that offer suspense, thriller, drama, horror, tragedy, and hope.

 

With ENTOIN, we take a look at all those movies that are built on the theme of mining. We also included some highly regarded documentaries that will open our eyes to the reality behind the industry.

 

 

43. Beneath (2013)

 

Beneath (2013)

 

Beneath takes a look at the dangers of coal mining on the lives of long-term miners. The film is a horror adventure directed by Ben Ketai and based on the story by Patrick J. Doody and Chris Valenziano.

 

 When we are shown the 1920s mine shaft that had collapsed, we briefly see a skeleton of a bird in a cage.

 

This is in accordance with the early practice of using canaries to test the air quality in mine shafts before miners entered them.

 

The story is about a miner nearing retirement who takes his daughter into the coal mine to test her adaptability and strength.

 

However, the mine collapses, trapping all 600 mines inside. It is only time before they run out of oxygen.

 

This slowly drives the others insane with oxygen deprivation before rescue arrives.

 

 

42. My Bloody Valentine (2009)

 

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

 

My Bloody Valentine is the 2009 remake of the Canadian slasher movie from 1981. The film was given the highest R-rating for a non-pornographic film due to the excessive violence and gore that is depicted.

 

In Australia, many viewers complained about the violence and requested the movie be banned. The story starts with a mining accident that causes seven miners to be trapped underground.

 

By the time the rescuers arrive, they see six miners dead from pickax wounds and a comatose Harry Warden.

 

Harry wakes up from his coma, goes to the mine, and kills all the teenagers partying on Valentine’s Day.

 

Cut to the present day, Tom Harringer, a survivor of the Valentine’s Day massacre comes back to town, and the murders restart.

 

 

 

41. The Pennsylvania Miners' Story (2002)

 

The Pennsylvania Miners' Story (2002)

 

The Pennsylvania Miners' Story is a television movie that was written by Elwood Reid and directed by David Frankel.

 

The film is about the real-life events that took place in Pennsylvania in the QueCreek mines between the 24th and the 28th of July 2002.

 

The film tells us the story of the nine miners who were trapped in the QueCreek mine and the rescue efforts made to get them out safely.

 

The film tells us from the miners' perspective about what they experienced and all the extraordinary effort it took to get the trapped men out of the mine.

 

The film was shot on location in Pennsylvania, and a few of the scenes were recreated in the QueCreek mines.

 

The film was nominated for its sound editing at the Golden Reel Awards.

 

 

 

40. Flower on the Stone (1962)

 

Flower on the Stone (1962)

 

Flower on The Stone is a Soviet-era film that was made in 1962. It tells the story of a mining community that's been set up on the Donetsk Steppe.

 

Here, the community faces a clash between a sect with its followers and the communist establishment. The mining town is being developed under the command of Brigadier Griva and the Komsomol.

 

However, a religious sect comes into town with members who are close-minded and rigid in their attitude. These two rigid organizations clash over the fate of the town.

 

During the filming, a fire accident occurred and claimed the life of the actress, Inna Burduchenko. The director of the film was arrested and held accountable for the unsafe working conditions.

 

 

 

39. Silver City (2004)

 

Silver City (2004)

 

Silver City is a political satire that revolves around the Gubernatorial race in Colorado. The film was written and directed by John Sayles.

 

Silver City takes a look at all the parties that hold a stake in an election, and sadly, the voters are not at the top of the list.

 

Dicky Pilager is running for the Governor of Colorado and is an inept candidate. While creating a campaign ad for environmental issues, the team fished out a corpse that could open a can of worms for Pillager.

 

Immediately, the campaign manager and longtime friend take charge of the issue and start an investigation. This investigation throws up all kinds of corrupt links between mining corporations, lobbyists, real estate lobbyists, environmental mess-ups, and illegal immigrants.

 

The performance of Dicky Pilager was rumored to be based on George W. Bush.

 

 

 

38. Act of Vengeance (1986)

 

Act of Vengeance (1986)

 

Act of Vengeance is a factual film on the real-life murder and the events surrounding the presidential election of the United Mine Workers Union in 1969.

 

In this film, Charles Bronson played Joseph "Jock" Yablonski, a real person who worked for safer working conditions for miners.

 

Act of Vengeance is sourced from the book of the same name written by Trevor Armbrister. A mining accident was caused due to unsafe working conditions for miners, killing 80 men in West Virginia.

 

Yablonski was disturbed by this incident and wanted to push for miners' safety using the union. However, the union president supports the mine owners causing him to be disillusioned.

 

He decides to run for union president and makes himself the target of an Act of Vengeance.

 

 

 

37. Mine 9 (2019)

 

Mine 9 (2019)

 

Mine 9 is the story of survival and self-rescue in an unsteady Appalachian mine. The film story combines the events that took place in three different mining accidents in West Virginia to create the plot for this film.

 

Mine 9 was written and directed by Eddie Mensore. The Appalachian mountains house mines rich in coal but suffer frequent accidents and unsteady mine shafts.

 

A unit of 9 miners brave the odds and continue to mine there. However, a sudden methane explosion causes the mine to cave in and traps the miners.

 

They only have one hour’s worth of Oxygen in their tank till they are rescued. The film is about their ordeal.

 

For the filming of the movie, they used actual coal mines for the establishing shots, but the rest of the scenes were filmed in a set with styrofoam mine walls.

 

 

 

36. Sub Terra (2003)

 

Sub Terra (2003)

 

Sub Terra is a Spanish film that is set in Lota, Chile. The film is based on the events captured by the local grocer named Baldomero Lillo, who recorded them in his book.

 

The events of Sub Terra occur in 1897 at the coal mine called "Chiflón del Diablo". In Chile, coal mining is the biggest industry, and the mine owners and supervisors are corrupt to the core, willing to sacrifice as many lives as needed to maximize their profits.

 

The miners in the village of Lota are unhappy with the working conditions, low wages, rising debt, etc. They plan to form a union of workers to negotiate better conditions.

 

But the mine supervisor has planted moles among the workers, and he has no qualms about killing good men as a means to an end.

 

 

 

35. A Light in Dark Places (2003)

 

A Light in Dark Places (2003)

 

A Light In Dark Places is a German film titled Das Wunder von Lengede. It was telecast on TV as a two-parter.

 

The film was directed by Kaspar Heidelbach and written by Benedikt Roeskau. A Light In Dark Places won awards at the Bambi Film awards and Bavarian Film awards and was nominated for many more accolades.

 

The story is about the rescue mission of a group of miners, who got stuck in the Lengede-Broistedt mine.

 

A mining accident occurred in 1963 when a nearby water pocket flooded the mine and stranded the miners inside for 14 days.

 

They almost lost hope of getting rescued when a breakthrough happened, and 11 miners were rescued.

 

 

 

34. All the Way Boys (1972)

 

All the Way Boys (1972)

 

All The Way Boys is an Italian film starring the famous comedy duo, Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. The film deviates from the duo’s usual style of Spaghetti Westerns and adopts a more current plot but retains their usual slapstick comedy.

 

Salud and Plata are bush pilots who work in South America ferrying few passengers and cargo. They crash into the Andean mountains and get stranded in the jungle near the mountains.

 

Here, they meet a mining community that is being controlled by a ruthless black marketer. He sells the emeralds from these mines in the black market and uses the mining community as his slaves.

 

The duo plan to save the village and expose the villain.

 

 

 

33. Outland (1981)

 

Outland (1981)

 

Outland is a British sci-fi thriller set in a mining station on one of the moons of Jupiter. The film has been described by many critics as High Noon set in space.

 

The story of Outland was written and directed by Peter Hyams. On Io, a mining colony is set up where Titanium is mined by a corporation called Con-Amalgamate.

 

The outpost Con-Am 27 is a profitable mine where the miners are giving higher output than elsewhere. However, slowly the miners start to have psychotic episodes, and they end up dead.

 

Federal Marshal O'Neil is tasked with discovering the reason for this psychosis and apprehending the culprit. The corporation name, Con-Amalgamate, is the same corporation in the film Capricorn One that produces faulty Life Support Systems.

 

Both films were written by Peter Hyams.

 

 

 

32. The Proud Valley (1940)

 

The Proud Valley (1940)

 

The Proud Valley is a British movie set in the Welsh coal mining village, and it narrates a story about the dangers and the dependence on mines as a livelihood.

 

The Proud Valley was praised by critics for its enthralling and interesting story of courage, self-sacrifice, and endurance. David is an African-American man who comes to a Welsh coal-mining town for employment.

 

He is helped by Mr. Parry with lodging and employment despite the racist objections of other miners. A tragedy occurs and a gas pocket explodes killing many miners.

 

When Mr. Parry dies, David feels responsible and helps his son to petition to have the mines reopened. Paul Robeson was critical of Britain's appeasement policy with the Nazi Germans in the early days of WWII.

 

These comments angered Lord Beaverbrook, and he blacklisted the film.

 

 

 

31. Paint Your Wagon (1969)

 

Paint Your Wagon (1969)

 

Paint Your Wagon is a musical western based on the play of the same name by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

 

After the play had a successful run in 1951, it was adapted into a film. It had a successful run at the box office, but the earnings were not sufficient to offset the cost of production and marketing.

 

The story is set during the California gold rush days when Ben, a prospector, rescues Pardner from a wagon crash.

 

They discover gold dust at the crash site and decide to mine gold as partners and set up a small mining settlement.

 

They are all amiable miners who are lonely and good-natured miners. Their friendship lasts till the end of the film when the mining tunnel collapses and destroys the whole town.

 

 

30. Gold (2016)

 

Gold (2016)

 

Gold is a crime drama that is loosely based on the Bre-X mining scandal from 1993. The names and locations have been altered, and the story was fictionalized for dramatic purposes.

 

The critics and the audience were not happy with the film as it fell short of expectations. Kenny Wells is a prospector who is down on his luck.

 

He meets Michael Acosta, who is an equally luckless geologist. They both decide to try their luck in Indonesia to discover gold mines.

 

After a lot of struggle to find investors and workers, they slave through the jungle, encountering disease and hardships.

 

But will it repay is the question that they all have?

 

 

29. Beaconsfield (2012)

 

Beaconsfield (2012)

 

Beaconsfield is an Australian film about a real-life incident that took place in 2006 at the Beaconsfield mine. This incident was covered internationally and caused a media frenzy, while the rescue teams had to work extra hard to avoid further cave-ins in their haste.

 

On Anzac Day 2006, Todd Russell and Brant Webb, along with another miner, were trapped in the Beaconsfield gold mine in the Tasmania region.

 

The rescue effort was made difficult by the unstable earth that could cause further damage. While the two men were stuck in a small enclosure for fifteen days, they had to keep their wits about them and await rescue.

 

At the same time, the rescue team had to be extra resourceful to avoid unwanted accidents.

 

 

28. The 33 (2015)

 

The 33 (2015)

 

The 33 is a Spanish movie about the 2010 Chilean mine disaster at the San José Mine in Copiapó.

 

The movie is a docudrama about the efforts of the government, the struggle of the miners, and the trauma of the relatives.

 

The mines in Copiapó were reported as being unstable to the mine owner, but he refused to heed warnings due to his greed.

 

On a fateful day, the mine collapsed, but the 33 miners were able to reach the refuge area. The apathy of the owners is further displayed when the refuge area is ill-equipped to handle the situation.

 

All the miners who lived in the nearby area worked as extras on the film set due to a lack of proper jobs and earnings.

 

One of the original 33 miners worked as the head of the extra on the film set.

 

 

27. The Molly Maguires (1970)

 

The Molly Maguires (1970)

 

The Molly Maguires is a film about the life of miners before unions were formed to fight for their rights.

 

The mine owners blatantly abused their powers to endanger the life of miners, and the government turned a blind eye to their troubles.

 

At a time like this, the miners formed a rebel group to fight back against oppression. Molly Maguires is a group of Irish-American immigrants who fight for social justice against the cruel and unsafe working conditions in mines in Pennsylvania.

 

The problem is that they employ guerilla tactics to sabotage and endanger the mine and the property. As a result, the police send in an Irish police detective to infiltrate the group and destroy them.

 

The Molly Maguires is a real-life organization of vigilantes that fought for social justice in the Irish-American community in Pennsylvania.

 

 

26. The Stars Look Down (1940)

 

The Stars Look Down (1940)

 

The Stars Look Down is a film based on the novel of the same name by A. J. Cronin and the film was directed by Carol Reed.

 

When the film was made, the director found the story to be very melancholic and sad. He was surprised that the audience appreciated the film and made it a success.

 

Davey Fenwick is the son of a miner and sees his father slave away and endanger his life for the profits of the mine owners.

 

When Fenwick Sr. strikes for better working conditions, he is arrested. At this time, Davey Fenwick gets a scholarship and plans to earn a degree and make the lives of fellow miners better.

 

However, along the way, his ideals are led astray by the wiles of a scheming woman and her war-profiteering boyfriend.

 

 

25. Germinal (1993)

 

Germinal (1993)

 

Germinal is a French film about the coal miner’s strike in Northern France in the 1860s. The plot is based on the novel of the same name by Émile Zola.

 

Germinal was the costliest French film ever made at that point in time, and it was the fourth most attended film in France that year.

 

The miners in the coal mines in Northern France are living in dismal conditions with no care for their safety.

 

Etienne is an idealistic and somewhat naive youth who is unable to put up with their suffering. He encourages the miners to fight for their rights and strike.

 

His good intentions and wishes are all for naught before the blatant greed and the scheming nature of the mine owners.

 

 

24. Margaret's Museum (1995)

 

Margaret's Museum (1995)

 

Margaret's Museum is a sad tale of the life of coal miners in Glace Bay in Nova Scotia. The film is a British-Canadian production and it is based on the novel, The Glace Bay Miners' Museum, written by Sheldon Currie.

 

Margaret MacNeil is a young woman who refuses to marry anyone from the mining community as she has seen her father and brother die in the mine, while her grandfather suffers from respiratory illness.

 

To this town comes a cheerful, charming, Scottish young man, Neil Currie, who changes Margaret’s heart and marries her.

 

But the curse of the miners follows, and he too perishes in a mining accident. This prompts her to start a museum in their honor and memory.

 

 

23. Brassed Off (1996)

 

Brassed Off (1996)

 

Brassed Off is a comedy-drama that is based on the struggles of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band when the Grimethorpe pit was closed off.

 

The film views the impact of the shutting down of mines on the community and the psychology of the people as many miners had committed suicide out of desperation.

 

The film starts with the announcement that the mine will be shut down after being operational for over a hundred years.

 

As long as the mine was running they had their colliery brass band. Now it is facing unemployment along with the miners.

 

The entry of a new flugelhorn player offers a ray of hope for the band, yet, it also spells trouble for the player’s relationship with her boyfriend.

 

 

22. Pale Rider (1985)

 

Pale Rider (1985)

 

Pale Rider is a film that was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, and he also stars in the lead role.

 

The title of the film, Pale Rider, is a reference to one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, with the pale rider representing Death.

 

In a small town, prospectors settled at the foothills of California are threatened by the greed of a wealthy landowner from the neighboring village.

 

With the Gold Rush in full swing, the prospectors are worried for their livelihood until a preacher rides into town.

 

He convinces and persuades the landowner to give up his ideas. The film was the highest-grossing Western of the 1980s.

 

However, the film was tough on Eastwood as he suffered a dislocated shoulder when his horse fell through thin ice.

 

 

21. Salt of the Earth (1954)

 

Salt of the Earth (1954)

 

Salt of the Earth is a film about the general strike called by the workers of a zinc mine in New Mexico.

 

The events that conspired during the Empire Zinc mine strike have inspired the story of the film. The film was blacklisted in America for 11 years as the writer, director, and producers of the film were accused of having communist links.

 

The Mexican-American miners in the zinc mines in Zinctown, New Mexico are not paid equal wages as the Anglo miners and are subject to racial discrimination.

 

To object to this treatment, the miners call for a general strike until their demand for equal pay and equal rights are met.

 

The fight against the corrupt mine owners is strengthened and encouraged by the determination of women, wives, mothers, and daughters of the community.

 

Hence, the movie is viewed as a feminist film.

 

 

20. North Country (2005)

 

North Country (2005)

 

North Country is a film about the sexual, emotional, and physical abuse faced by female miners. The film is inspired by the novel Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law by Clara Bingham and Laura Leedy Gansler.

 

The story is a fictional account of the events. Josey Aimes is a divorced, single mother who comes to the North Country and takes up work as a miner in the local mines.

 

In a predominantly male workspace, all the female miners face harassment and abuse, but the company refuses to take any action against them.

 

Furthermore, the male miners strongly arm the women who complain and threaten all witnesses into silence. Josey Aimes, with the help of a New York attorney, sues the company for sexual harassment and wins a landmark judgment that helped set in place a workplace sexual harassment policy.

 

 

19. Blind Shaft (2003)

 

Blind Shaft (2003)

 

Blind Shaft is a Chinese crime drama that is based on Liu Qingbang's short novel Shen Mu (Sacred Wood).

 

The film depicts the crimes of a pair of con artists at the illegal coal mines in Northern China.

 

Two unscrupulous con artists hatch a scheme to murder miners in an illegal mine in Northern China and make it appear like a mining accident.

 

They would then blackmail the mine owner to pay hefty ransoms. This operation runs smoothly until they encounter a young and naive miner from a village.

 

This youth resembles their first victim and stirs sympathy in the heart of one con artist while the other remains steady.

 

This blows their operation and uncovers the truth.

 

 

18. The Devil's Miner (2005)

 

The Devil's Miner (2005)

 

The Devil's Miner is a documentary film about the living condition, fears, and reality of the miners in Potosi in Bolivia.

 

The filmmakers, Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani follow two young Bolivian miners, aged fourteen and twelve, who work in the mines of Potosi.

 

The miners of Bolivia believe that mines are the territory of the Devil called Tio, and they pray to him and offer sacrifices before they enter the mine every day.

 

Despite the prayers and offerings, many miners have died in mining accidents over the years. Apart from the devil, the miners also face long and arduous working hours where they have to suppress hunger pains with cacao leaves.

 

Child labor is also rampant. The film captures all these realities in the lives of these miners.

 

 

17. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

 

Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

 

Coal Miner’s Daughter is a biographical tale of the country star Loretta Lynn’s amazing rise to stardom. The film is based on her biography of the same name written by George Vecsey.

 

The soundtrack for the film reached the top 40 on the Billboard 200 chart and included all the hits of Loretta Lynn.

 

Young Loretta is the daughter of a coal miner and lives in poverty for most of her childhood. At 13 years of age, she is married to a 22-year-old man and becomes a housewife until her husband recognizes her talent for music.

 

With his encouragement, she writes and sings her songs at the local fairs and honky-tonk until fame reaches her.

 

The film was approved for production in 1979, and Lynn herself chose Sissy Spacek to play the titular role. The film was a major hit.

 

 

16. Sorcerer (1977)

 

Sorcerer (1977)

 

Sorcerer is a thriller set in the jungles of Latin America. It is inspired by the French novel Le Salaire de la peur by Georges Arnaud.

 

William Friedkin was the director and hoped the film would be his legacy. However, it ran over budget and performed poorly at the box office.

 

Later, the critics took a relook at the film and described it as a masterpiece that was overshadowed by Star Wars.

 

The story is about four perfect strangers with checkered pasts who are brought in to assist an oil refinery to combat a blaze.

 

They are assigned the task of transporting an old stash of dynamite, that is leaking nitroglycerine across the mountainous jungle up to the refinery.

 

 

15. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

 

How Green Was My Valley (1941)

 

How Green Was My Valley is an American drama based on the novel of the same name by Richard Llewellyn.

 

The story gives us a peek into the lives of coal miners in Wales in the late Victorian era where danger was plenty, hardships were at every corner, but there was also hope.

 

The film follows the life and hopes of the Morgan family. Gwilym Morgan and his elder sons work at the local coal mine, where the working conditions are dangerous and fraught with health hazards.

 

The Morgans work hard and hope that their youngest son can have a better job and life. However, life hardly ever goes according to plan.

 

 

14. Pride (2014)

 

Pride (2014)

 

Pride is a unique story about the gay and lesbian community in the UK that comes out in support of the striking mineworkers.

 

Together, they oppose the two main policies of the Thatcher government. The film is inspired by the true events during the British Miners’ Strike in 1984.

 

A large group of gay men and lesbians are on their way to London to participate in the Gay Pride march.

 

They chance upon a village in Bromley where the miners are striking against the pit closures. During the same time, Mark Ashton, a gay rights activist decides to create the group "Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners", which will galvanize more people for either of the causes.

 

Back in the village, with some comic effect, the group of gay men convinces the miners of their support and solidarity.

 

 

13. The Last Mountain (2011)

 

The Last Mountain (2011)

 

The Last Mountain is a documentary on the environmental damage done due to mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian mountains.

 

The film is based in part on the book Crimes Against Nature by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. It also offers interviews and opinions of various activists and environmentalists.

 

The Last Mountain is the only remaining mountain in the Appalachian mountain range that has not been exploited for coal mining.

 

Energy corporations and a tiny local community are stuck in a battle over the rights of ownership of the mountain.

 

The documentary offers the health and environmental damage of coal mining and offers wind energy as a viable option.

 

 

12. Tôkyô tawâ: Okan to boku to, tokidoki, oton (2007)

 

Tôkyô tawâ: Okan to boku to, tokidoki, oton (2007)

 

Tôkyô tawâ: Okan to Boku to, tokidoki, oton is a Japanese film based on the autobiography of Lily Franky, a novelist, illustrator, and artist.

 

The film captures his journey from an aimless and directionless youth toward a stable and respectable young man. Masaya is the son of an alcoholic artist father and a hard-working and loving mother.

 

Fed up with her husband’s irresponsible behavior, Masaya’s mother takes him away to a small mining town. There, she works hard in the mining village to eke out enough money for Masaya’s education.

 

However, he follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes jobless and irresponsible youth. When his mother falls sick with cancer, he invites her home to take care of her but ends up learning the value of life and relationships from her.

 

 

11. Les enfants du Borinage - Lettre à Henri Storck (2000)

 

Les enfants du Borinage - Lettre à Henri Storck (2000)

 

Les enfants du Borinage - Lettre à Henri Storck is a documentary about the mining district of Borinage in Belgium.

 

The coal mines of Borinaage were first made famous due to the charcoal etchings of Van Gogh and later the impactful documentary on these mines from 1933.

 

A resident of Borinage, director Patric Jean, uses his intimate knowledge of the district, its people, and its conditions to paint a sad and vivid image of life in the coal mining area.

 

The place is overlooked by society, and the conditions are dismal, yet the apathy is evident.

 

 

10. Matewan (1987)

 

Matewan (1987)

 

Matewan is a drama that was written and directed by John Sayles. It depicts the events during the Battle of Matewan in a fictionalized story.

 

A few fictional characters have been introduced, but most of the key players are the actual figures who spearheaded the coal miner’s strike in 1920.

 

Matewan is a mining town in West Virginia where the mine owners and his army of gun thugs from the notorious Baldwin-Felts detective agency have brutally oppressed the miners.

 

They are subjugated under the fear of the gun and not allowed to form a union. In this situation, Joe Kenehan, who is a union organizer, comes and brings together the miners to fight back for their rights.

 

 

9. October Sky (1999)

 

October Sky (1999)

 

October Sky is a biographical tale about the life, childhood, and inspiration of Homer H. Hickam Jr. The film is based on his memoir, initially titled Rocket Boys.

 

The name of the film, October Sky, is an anagram of Rocket Boys. In 1957, Homer H. Hickam Jr. witnessed the launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviets, and it caught his imagination.

 

He soon becomes interested in Rocketry, much to the chagrin of his father. Being a coal miner, his father expects Hickam Jr. to join him in the mines.

 

After a few hardships and hurdles, Hickam grew up to become a NASA engineer. The film was a moderate success, but it inspired Hickam to re-release his memoir with the new title of October Sky.

 

 

8. Harlan County, U.S.A (1976)

 

Harlan County, U.S.A (1976)

 

Harlan County, U. S. A. is a documentary that covers the Brookside Strike in Harlan County, southeast Kentucky, in 1973.

 

The strike was an effort of coal miners against the Duke Power Company, which owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant.

 

The documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple was covering the election of the president of UMWA, a miners union in America.

 

However, in Kentucky, 180 coal miners of Brookside mines went on a strike organized by the UMWA against Duke Power Plant.

 

She immediately shifted focus to this strike that lasted more than a year. The strike turned violent when armed thugs from the company, the miners, and their wives were dragged into violent clashes.

 

 

7. There Will be Blood (2007)

 

There Will be Blood (2007)

 

There Will be Blood is a period drama set in Southern California in the early 1900s. The film is based on the novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair.

 

The novel was adapted into a screenplay by Raul Thomas Anderson, who also directed the film. This highly esteemed film was nominated for eight Oscars and won two awards.

 

Daniel Plainview is a money-minded businessman. He owned silver mines in California during the gold-rush days. Later, he discovered oil and shifted his focus to oil wells.

 

His main goal in life is to earn wealth, and in his pursuit, he stops at nothing, including murder.

 

The one person who becomes a thorn in his side is his equally competitive neighbor who dreams of building his own church.

 

 

6. Under Rich Earth (2008)

 

Under Rich Earth (2008)

 

Under Rich Earth is a documentary film that chronicles the fight of the farming community against foreign prospectors who want to mine copper in the valley.

 

The film uncovers all the cheap intimidation and scare tactics and strong warming of the Canadian Mining company that uses paramilitary forces for their mission.

 

The Intag valley of Ecuador is rich in fertile soil. It is home to many farmers and farming families who make a comfortable earning, living in harmony with nature, and a stable future for their children.

 

All this is threatened when foreign prospectors arrive and propose to buy up the fertile land to mine copper.

 

To scare and intimidate the farmers, the mining companies use dirty tactics and even violence.

 

 

5. Ace in the Hole (1951)

 

Ace in the Hole (1951)

 

Ace in the Hole is a film noir that takes a scathing look at news media and reporters who exploit situations to create a sensation.

 

Conversely, the public is gullible and laps up all the news without analyzing the truth and the reality. Chuck Tatum is a New York city journalist who has been fired from his job.

 

Disgraced, he takes up a job as a small-town journalist. He is raring for a chance to get back into the big league, and the chance occurs in the form of a victim, who is trapped in an old cave.

 

Tatum immediately jumps to the opportunity and exploits the situation to create a sensation at the cost of morals, ethics, and humanity.

 

 

4. Mountaintop Removal (2007)

 

Mountaintop Removal (2007)

 

Mountaintop Removal is a documentary film that was captured over a period of two years. It discusses the form of mining that erodes the mountain tops to reach the mineral deposits within.

 

This type of mining damages the landscape and affects the nature and community in West Virginia’s Appalachian mountain range.

 

The documentary includes narration by Jeff Goodell and interviews with prominent geologists and the President of the West Virginia Coal Association.

 

The film shows the efforts made by the locals, environmental groups, and various associations to salvage the landscape.

 

 

3. Blood Diamond (2006)

 

Blood Diamond (2006)

 

Blood Diamond is a political war film set during the Sierra Leone Civil War. The film depicts the illegal diamond mining that funded the war efforts of the militants and local warlords.

 

The film also depicted the atrocities done to innocent civilians to prevent them from supporting the government or voting.

 

A local warlord Captain Poison has kidnapped a large number of civilians and forced them to mine in a river.

 

Vandy is a local fisherman who finds a large pink diamond, but before it is stolen from him, government forces arrest the group.

 

In jail, Vandy meets a diamond smuggler who becomes aware of the existence of this pink diamond. It is a fight between the militant warlords, Vandy, and the smuggler to locate the stone and make a profit from it.

 

 

2. River of Gold (2016)

 

River of Gold (2016)

 

River of Gold is a documentary film based on the illegal gold mining industry in the Peruvian rainforests. The film is narrated by Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock as it takes us up the Madre de Dios river, and through the rainforest that is being threatened by mining.

 

Environmentalists, biologists, and investigative journalists come together to show us the real picture of centuries-old rainforests of Peru that are falling victim to human greed.

 

The forest is being destroyed to mine gold and earn profits illegally. The film showcases the resulting ecological and biological impact of mining in the area.

 

 

1. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

 

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

 

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a western that showcases the failings of human nature and the triumph of hope and hard work.

 

The film is written and directed by John Huston. He cast his father, Walter Huston in a key role as the prospector.

 

When Walter Huston won his Oscar, he jokingly stated that he only requested his son to write a good part for him in his movies.

 

He said, '... Well, by cracky, that's what he did!' When two unemployed and out-of-luck miners meet a prospector, they agree to search for gold in the mountains of Sierra Madre.

 

They work hard and find gold but they also find a ton-load of trouble. Bandits, mother nature, greed, etc., all turn their victory into a sour experience.

 

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