Through circumstances too lengthy to recap here, I once found myself abandoned along with a group of other people in virtual darkness deep in the Kango Caves in Oudtshoorn. Since I was the most familiar with the Caves (this was my 4th time there) I volunteered to traverse the entire cave system in near total darkness to get out and find help. It took me a couple of dirty, stressful hours but I eventually made it. I was 17 years old at the time, and it was the coolest thing I had ever done.
There was absolutely nothing “cool” though about the 2010 Chilean mining disaster that saw 33 miners trapped 2300 ft underground for 69 days (which makes my mild underground jaunt look like a picnic in a field of daisies in comparison). The harrowing tale of these men captured the world’s attention 5 years ago, as they starved and barely survived in harsh conditions for two and a half months until [5-year old news spoiler alert!] they were all miraculously rescued. The drama of their ordeal underground was matched by the drama above ground as families fought with the government and mining company officials to rescue their husbands, fathers and brothers in view of the world’s media. And now their incredible tale is being given the feature film treatment (which could be considered cool) in The 33.
The movie has a solid cast featuring Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gabriel Byrne and Juliette Binoche, all of whom are kind enough to speak in accented English instead of Spanish, so we can also understand this intense first trailer for the human drama.
Patricia Riggen directs the film which was written with the help of the miners themselves, and reveals for the first time the story of their first 17 days underground, before contact was made with the outside, which the miners had since kept confidential as part of their “pact of silence”.
The film has no international release dates yet, but will release in Chile on August 6, 2015.
Last Updated: April 7, 2015