29 Sep 2014 Documentary ‘The Coal Windows’
Communication and Poverty
Didaxis produced a documentary to mark the second anniversary of a mining explosion that killed 65 men in 2006. It was the beginning of a campaign of national and international awareness that seeks to challenge the impunity of the mining companies involved. With the help of local investigative journalist Sara Lovera, Didaxis interviewed widows of the Pasta de Conchos and earlier tragedies. The women spoke of the remoteness and isolation of where they live and the lack of social amenities and described the hardship of being widowed with no support from the mining companies and no prospect of any local employment in this impoverished and underdeveloped region of Mexico. Viudas del Carbón (‘Coal Widows) is a 60-minute documentary that enabled women of all ages to speak about their lives, their families, and the difficulties they face. It reveals the resilience with which they have faced their loss. Interspersed are comments from the Bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera, and Dominican priest Alejandro Castillo, who has worked in the region for 28 years. The documentary was shown in Mexico City, in local communities in the mining zones, among groups that are trying to help the widows, and those that defend human and workers’ rights. A book was also written to accompany the launch of documentary.