To the Light, a documentary about miners in Sichuan Province, has won the Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award. From the Huffington Post:
The visually lyrical and heartbreaking film, which won the Mead’s prestigious award this year for best in show, follows three miners both below and above the ground, and documents the price that they and their families have paid for their participation in what is arguably the world’s deadliest profession.
Coal mining has always been dangerous. Scores die each year in mining accidents in the US. But this figure pales besides the estimated 20,000 people a year (according to the film) who perish in accidents in China’s primitive mines. The government’s official numbers are lower, but independent observers like Robin Munro, a human-rights activist at the Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin, say that the true toll is routinely under-reported by mine owners and provincial officials who often have a personal financial stake in these lucrative operations and the prosperity they bring to the rural communities where the mines are located.
A trailer for the film can be viewed on the official website. The filmmakers are raising money through their website for one of the miners in the movie, who was paralyzed after a mining accident. Read more about the filmmaker, Yuanchen Liu, from NYU, where he recently graduated.