The 33 – Director, Patricia Riggen

This movie got mediocre reviews and I think I understand why. It tells the story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days underground and finally miraculously rescued. It was a dramatic story that captured the attention of the world for over two months and brought in mining and drilling experts from all over the world including Canada. The making of a movie about the events made sense and I recall listening to a radio documentary about the making of the movie a couple of years ago that piqued my interest in the film and learning that Antonio Banderas and Gabriel Byrne were in the cast. The film, if it had been made as a fictional story would perhaps have garnered more praise. Unfortunately, the real story while dramatic is also disturbing.  Despite all the attention, the company that owned the mine was never punished for creating the unsafe conditions that led to the disaster and the minors were never compensated for their trauma. The film touches on these issues but never really focuses on them. Instead we focus entirely on the rescue in a pretty typical Hollywood manner. There are some interesting characters among the miners and there is some real tension. One of the best scenes is the final rescue as the minors are pulled one by one from the mine. I enjoyed the movie and am just disappointed that they didn’t do a better job.