The Truth is in the Dark… \ Antonia Sherka Review of “The Miner”

The Truth is in the Dark… \ Antonia Sherka Review of “The Miner”

The truth is often bitter, and it becomes even more so when it is intertwined with a historical truth that had been ignored; that leads to the elimination of parts of our collective identity as well as our individual identity, leaving a void which cannot be filled with any reason or justification.

The title character in the film, us war-torn immigrant who once fought in his homeland of Bosnia, and who today is not even willing to speak to his children about the memories of the war and the killings that he had been forced to commit. He has moved to Slovenia many years ago to start a new life. He has held onto to his work with resolve and humility, lest he loses it and is no longer able to remain in his second homeland.

In order to provide for his family, Alia, like the rest of his hardworking colleagues, is ready to do even dangerous work with the least amount of security. However preserving a seemingly calm present condition -which requires the burying of bitter memories of the past- is as difficult as ignoring the thousands of dead bodies buried in an old mine from second World War; revealing the secrets of which could compromise the position of many people.

Alia who had opened the mine at the order of his oppressive boss can once again shut the mine down at his order, and forget everything that he has seen there. Like the dozens of other mines, he had worked with and probably no longer remembers. Yet there is a secret hidden in this old mine that is tied to the history and fate of the inhabitants of this small town and cannot be easily overlooked.

In the film, there is an intelligent movement between darkness and light, and we soon find out that the truth is in the dark, and that the light -instead of being illuminating- is actually concealing the truth.

However for a miner, it is a different story, and the nature of his job compels him to dig deeper into the mine, and to discover things that no one has seen or knows about. In this regard, the ingraining of the nature of a miner’s job and the narrative, which has helped in shaping the structure of the film, is a positive event.

Another feature of the film is the smooth and soft movement into the drama in the very first minutes, and that the script gives equal time to the work, family, the mine, friends, and townspeople, which ultimately results in the film’s ending being both logical and equally unexpected.

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