All That Is Solid
Sponsored by London and North Western Railway, this silent film provides a picture of British coal mining at the beginning of the 20thcentury. Conceived like an instructional film, it documents the various production processes – from freeing the ore from the rock to the unloading of the drams at the conveyors above ground. Although the narrative comprises a male coal miner leaving in the morning and returning to his family in the evening, A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner highlights the role of female labour at the pit. Whether by intention or not, through its final scene the film draws parallels between the hard physical nature of the labour and the luxury of a bourgoise family enjoying the warmth of the fire place.
Louis Henderson, FR 2014, 16’