Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Pit No. 8
Marianna Kaat / Estonia / 2010 / 95 min / Russian
Cold, hungry, out of work? Dig a hole in your backyard and mine some coal. Ukrainian know-how for a post-industrial society.
Snizhne, once a flourishing Ukrainian mining town, is plagued today by crushing poverty. For years, the town's desperate residents have been illegally mining coal on their own, dangerously excavating abandoned mines, the basements of condemned buildings, the nearby woods, and even their own backyards. Everyone digs to survive – women, pensioners, unemployed miners, even children. After leaving his alcoholic mother's home, 15-year-old Yura has put his schooling and his dream of becoming a cook on hold. He takes it upon himself to provide for his sisters the only way he knows: by working the illegal pits. In the absence of adults, Yura shoulders family responsibilities – parenting, shopping, cooking meals, and making ends meet. A heart-rending story of children forced to grow up too quickly with no role models.
The second in the Re-Verzio series: OSA and Verzio Film Festival present six outstanding documentaries, the most popular films of the 9th Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. For more details, see the pdf flyer below.
Films are screened in original language with English subtitles.