[QODLink]
Witness
Underground Heroes
The story of Ukrainian miners who risk their lives with hardly a second thought.
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2009 09:15 GMT

Watch part two

Award-winning documentary-maker Michael Glawogger introduces us to Ukranian miners, illegally digging for coal in abandoned seams in the snowy Donetsk valley.

It is cold, dirty and dangerous work as the men crawl on their bellies in the cramped conditions of the mine to hammer away at the rock and extract chunks of coal.

After a hard day's labour, the men recall the old Soviet propaganda which idealised hard, manual labour as a personal vocation and a national duty.

"I'm not getting rich or making a profit", says one miner. "I'm doing this to survive, no more no less".

As the men seemingly go to hell and back, day after day, year after year, to eke out subsistence livings, the film chronicles their exuberance, vitality and teamwork in their back-breaking work carried out with a minimum of complaint.

The simple act of doing the work, no matter how dangerous, seems to give their lives structure and purpose; triumphing over fear adds to their sense of accomplishment.

A film of few words but plenty of indelible images of men risking their lives with hardly a second thought.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.