> Exhibition : Mines in the movies

When the Lumière brothers launched their cinema adventure at the end of the 19th century, did they imagine that mines and miners would play one of its leading roles?

The abundance of mining films shows the interest of directors, as well as the public, to discover a world they have no access to: the bowels of the earth. Émile Zola had made Lantier and the characters from Germinal the heroes of his novel, and the three film adaptations by Capellani (1913), Allégret (1963) and Berri (1993) gave them a face and brought them to life.

Whether it’s the main subject or the setting for a story, the mine marked the world of cinema throughout the 20th century and still inspires it today. On all continents and in all genres, directors include this world in their screenplays. Whether through fiction, documentary, animated or corporate film, those who face danger every day to extract coal from the ground have been placed firmly in the spotlight.

It is, of course, impossible to quote in full all the mining films that have been produced, but with Mines in the movies, the Mining History Centre invited you to discover lots of films that are representative of this theme. The exhibition was rolling out the red carpet on this subject and inviting us to take an overview of the links that bring mines and cinema together.