The 33


I think this film has been bypassed somewhat, which is a real shame. This is the story of the 33 miners who were trapped in a mine in Chile’s Atacama desert. At the time this was a massive story. I remember following each day thinking there was no chance of these men coming out alive. Day after day the families stood by watching the mine, surely their hope diminishing. Then the drill got through and there were cheers of jubilation as it was revealed that all 33 men were alive. This was not the end of the story because once they were through the hard work of getting them out had to start. To get the drill precisely where they wanted was a big ask and very dangerous.

Drillers from America, Canada and Australia came to the mine to drill a hole big enough to get the men out. At least now food and water could be sent down and they could even have video calls with their families. The rescue took months to work and a number of failed attempts took place. There was still a strong possibility that these men may be stuck down there.

This is a great story of survival. It is also a story showing the strength of families not willing to give up. So many have died in the mines and nothing was done to rescue them as it seemed an impossible task. This time it was different!

All those involved gave great performances. Their home lives were revealed and many had problems. One man had a wife and a mistress, one had an ongoing feud with his sister, another was about to be a father which all added to the drama. They fought each other, loved each other, trusted each other and shared many emotions. They had to keep each other going to survive.  Antonio Banderas is great as the leader who motivates the rest and keeps his head. He is not willing to give up because he wants to see his family again. Juliet Binoche is the sister involved in a long running feud with her trapped brother. Despite their differences she is the main protagonist when it comes to getting the politicians and the mining company in action to free the trapped.

This is a good film, well played and should have gained more attention. I think the performances were great and the emotion particularly strong. I felt more for this film than Spotlight although it doesn’t warrant Oscar nominations. Please go and see this film even if it is only to support those brave men who didn’t give up.



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