LIFF: Fireflies in the Abyss

Duration: 88 min

Nepali / Hindi / English with English subtitles | 88 min | India / UK 2015 | Dir. Chandrasekhar Reddy | with: Nishant Rai, Raj Rai, Suraj Subba.


This absorbing documentary follows Suraj a 11-year-old boy who works in the ‘rat-hole’ mines in the Jaintia Hills of North East India. There are narrow strips of coal requiring children to descend steep, sheer chutes and burrow into narrow horizontal tunnels to scratch coal out of hard rock, armed with nothing more than a pickaxe and a head torch. In these hostile pits, every day is a game of death. With Suraj's story as the primary narrative, the life in the mining camp and the intertwining fates of the miners are explored. Most of the events characterise the choices made under the difficult circumstances that they experience, see around them and have to continually resolve – both internally and externally. Contrasting the various responses elicits drama, irony and humour, while gradually building up a composite picture of lives under unusual and extraordinary circumstances.

The Bagri Foundation supports documentary films as a powerful medium to raise social awareness.

This film will screen as part of the 7th Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (14 - 21st July 2016)

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