An audiovisual excavation in the mining basin of Gordón (León), affected by a situation of dismantling the mining industry and the forms of life associated with it.

The project has been proposed as a collective work through local groups, in which the last images of the mine are intermingled with the conversations held among women miners throughout the period 2016-2017. In the resulting film layers of complexity are added to an epic reading about class struggle, while aspects such as care work or affective components, usually relegated in the conventional story about the mine, are put in value.

Presentation. Mercedes Ordás (Colectivo Puta Mina)

The documentary Puta Mina takes us to the Mining Areas, to a way of understanding life. It will fill us with feelings, memories and experiences of the women of the Mining Areas.

Puta Mina combines the image and the sound so that we can glimpse the vestiges of an era and a way of living almost extinct. Now when everything is over, when the work that supported the mining areas has been put to an end, when indoor coal mines have gone down in history, Puta Mina takes us to that way of feeling and understanding life with coal as a center. This documentary will show us the interior of the coal mine. We will go down the well in the cage that the miners used to get to the “pit”, we will walk through the gallery, wide, which leads to the ramps… but we will not see any activity. Coal is no longer removed. Even so, we must not be confused, although there is no activity if there is life. The mine breathes, moves and sweats.

The light that is seen is the light of the video camera and the lights of the miners who record the images, because they have been necessary accomplices, although they are unaware of the final product that we will now see. They, the miners, have been surprised by our voices, the voice of the women of the mining areas, who have always been there, in the shade, present but not recognized. Companions of road and life, necessary but invisible.

Puta Mina gives us the opportunity to give voice, feelings, emotions, to the daily life of the mining areas.It has not been easy to capture some memories, narrate them out loud, some are spontaneously emerging, and like a chain, some call others, wake them up from our subconscious,… some make us happy, others make us smile, laugh even, others rip us off tears of grief, of rage, some, many, fill us with pride but also some, made us mute. We have turned our hearts to this audio-visual work, little by little, talk to talk, without realizing it, we shed our life, the life of the mining areas. We talk about past, present and future.

We report the evolution of life in the mining areas. At least three generations of women give voice to the different way of living, feeling, thinking and acting in the different years that have passed. From the first days of the town of Ciñera, built by the company, until these last moments when the all-powerful electricians decide our death. We speak of the town of Ciñera, for being a clear example of the power of coal. It is a village built to give shelter to miners from all over Spain. A complete group of strangers supporting one another, living together, helping each other, sharing… the origin of solidarity and companionship. And we, mothers, sisters, wives and daughters making cluster, neighborhood, tribe, family. Creating a framework of mutual support, of union before the difficulties, making the town a home, a refuge, whose feeling of security and belonging still lingers in the people who have lived there.

The eldest remember the times of hard work, of a lot of population and life. Other times we have to remember the beginning of the end, the drop in production and the exodus of population that the company encourages and promotes, the conflict on the road, the struggle for the rights of workers always present. We will hear how a cultural evolution takes place little by little, a change in the way of thinking, feeling, acting but always, in the background, we have left the legacy of the struggle for the working class, the solidarity among workers, the camaraderie. We hope that Puta Mina gives you more vision, closer to the mining areas and their inhabitants. What can be used to deprive us of preconceived ideas, to see, listen and feel with our minds and hearts willing to let ourselves go.

Thanks to everyone who is part of Puta Mina. It is a great honour to be part of the collective Puta Mina and be able to share this film with all the people who want to immerse in it with us.

 

Puta mina (2018) 59 min.

Direction, writing: Laura Alonso, Raquel Balbuena, Chus Domínguez, Mari Fernández, Áurea González, Belén Sola, Cristina Turrado, Conchi Unanue, Mercedes Ordás.
Image: Manuel Carranza, Francisco Castañón, Álvaro Cuesta, Elías Fernández, Sócrates Fernández, Daniel Garduño, Julio Gómez, José Ramón González.
Editing: Chus Domínguez, Laura Alonso, Raquel Balbuena, Mari Fernández, Áurea González, Belén Sola, Cristina Turrado, Conchi Unanue, Mercedes Ordás.
Sound mix: Rafael Martínez del Pozo.


Trailer

Screenings
Festival de Cine Etnográfico de Ecuador (Quito), agosto 2018.
Festival de Cine Documental Alcances (Cádiz), octubre 2018.
Festival Internacional de Mediometrajes La Cabina (Valencia), noviembre 2018.
Plataforma vod Filmin, noviembre 2018 – febrero 2019.
LAN- Festival Audiovisual Obrero, Bilbao, noviembre 2018.
Festival Internacional Etnovideográfica (Zamora), noviembre 2018.
MUSOC, Muestra de cine social y derechos humanos de Asturias, enero 2019.
Filmoteca de Castilla y León (Salamanca), febrero 2019.
Ateneo La Calzada (Gijón), marzo 2019.
Museo de la Siderurgia y la Minería de Castilla y León (Sabero), marzo 2019.
MICE, Muestra Internacional de Cine Etnográfico, Mueso do Pobo Galego, Santiago de Compostela, marzo 2019.
Festival de Cine Reino de León (León), mayo 2019.
Casa de Cultura San Martín / Biblioteca Municipal, Mansilla de las Mulas (León). 21 de agosto, 20:30 h.
Casa de Cultura Pozos (León). 10 de agosto, 19:30
Museo de la Industria Harinera de Castilla y León, Gordoncillo (León). 20 de julio, 19 h.
Casa de la Cultura, Ciñera (León). 11 de julio, 22 h.
Centro Cívico, Paradilla de la Sobarriba (León). 3 de agosto, 20 h.
Reserva de la Biosfera Valles de Omaña y Luna, Ayuntamiento La Garandilla (León). 19 de julio, 21 h.
MUSAC, León. 12 de septiembre, 20 h.
Biblioteca Pública de Ávila, 31 de octubre de 2019.
Biblioteca Pública de Palencia, 2019 (fecha por determinar).


Texts about Puta mina
La palabra frente a la oscuridad, un prólogo para Puta Mina. Daniel Bernabé
The voices of the mine. Regarding the process in creating Puta mina (Damn Mine). Chus Domínguez. [English]
The images and the mine. Andy Davies [English]



Interviw, VI Festival de Cine Reino de León, May 2019.


Recording, March 2017, DEAC MUSAC.


Screening, Muestra de cine social y derechos humanos de Asturias, January 2019
(photo MUSOC).