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Blood on the coal — remarkable film attracts raft of awards

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By the Working Life Team

Friday, 19 February 2016

IT’S a story of struggle and survival, courage and determination, tragedy and triumph, the strength of comradeship, and above all never giving up.

The remarkable film Blood on the Coal  is attracting a raft of local and international prizes, mostly recently these include two prestigious Humanitarian Awards.

The landmark documentary traces the history of Australia’s Queensland coal miners and their Union from the darkest days of the 19th century to today’s daunting industrial and community challenges driven by giant global corporations.

The film is winning plaudits locally and internationally.

Blood on the Coal is without doubt the best film about working people ever produced in Australia,” says Dr Bruce Hearn Mackinnon,  from Deakin University.

Dr Mike Donaldson, former head of the Sociology Department at the University of Wollongong agrees: “Blood on the Coal will not be viewed by the frivolous or faint-hearted… but it is a story that is easily understood and riveting to watch”.

The CFMEU’s Paddy Gorman said the union was humbled to have been involved with the project, and delighted with the nine awards it has already won: “We’re particularly proud of it being honoured for its humanitarian values – because at our best Unions are all about the best in humanity.”

In the next few weeks, Ronin distributors are promoting the film to the education market and screenings will take place across the country.

“While each of our creative team is very proud of our efforts, plaudits go our CFMEU Queensland miners Mining and Energy District whose story it is and who made the commitment to fund the film,” said Mr Gorman.

The stories in  Blood on the Coal are told with compelling honesty, strength and wit by miners and their communities who survive — full of heart and humour —  in one of the world’s most hazardous industries.

Written in the blood of mineworkers and their families the film is the story of the Queensland coalfields – one of the world’s richest energy resources and for 150 years a bitter industrial battleground.

theunion

It features harrowing underground disasters, heroic rescues and traces a history of strikes, industrial turmoil and the modern push by global mining giants to destroy regional communities and replace local mineworkers with a subservient itinerant workforce.

The documentary reveals untold insight into the human cost of mining and reveals how ordinary workers and their families pay the ultimate price for corporate greed and government neglect.

But despite the hardships, there’s humour and honour in this story of down-to-earth working families and the film is attracting wide praise for its message and potential impact:  “We firmly believe that film can make impactful changes globally and the Global Film Awards and the IndieFEST Humanitarian Awards are designed to give recognition to those illustrious filmmakers whose craft inspires audiences to make a difference!”

Blood On The Coal recently took out the  Global Film Awards and IndieFEST Film Awards for outstanding achievement.

For more information on the film see: http://bloodonthecoal.com

Working Life is a forum to share ideas and opinions about work and life, both light-hearted and serious. The opinions presented on Working Life are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent policies or views of the ACTU.

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Comments

  1. Marion M R Ivanic
    Friday, 19 February, 2016 at 7:36 pm · Reply

    Great to know they’ve made a movie, telling the truly awful human costs of coal mining, the idea of working in the dark during daylight hours, always in danger of being buried, even today. I remember when I was a very young student nurse, when miners came in, their bodies covered in horrible burns, which took months of painful treatment and then the residual scars – often young men. Coming home with black faces and being looked down on by the upper class. Dump coal, we will survive without it!


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