The Miners' Hymns
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The ill-fated coal mining communities in North East England are the subject of this inspired documentary by multi-media artist Bill Morrison. Their story is told entirely without words, yet the film is far from silent: it features a remarkable original score by the Icelandic composer Jˇhann Jˇhannsson. Using rarely-seen footage from the British Film Institute, the BBC, and other archives, The Miners' Hymns celebrates social, cultural, and political aspects of the extinct industry. Focusing on the Durham coalfield located in northeastern England, it depicts the hardship of pit work, the… More
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© Icarus Films
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Morrison sketches a portrait of a vanished way of life for one Northeast England community, along with an explanation of sorts for why it disappeared."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"There are some mesmerizing images of the soot-covered miners at work and of children at play on a coal-strewn seashore."
‑ Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
"Imaginatively re-purposes archival footage in collaboration with Johannsson's stirring score. . . to bring back the proud miners like ghosts . . .of labor's heritage."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel, Film-Forward.com
"A look at ill-fated mining communities in northern England."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"It speaks eloquently about the disappearance of most any indigenous working-class culture."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"Found-footage work by filmmaker Bill Morrison matches archival scenes of miners in North England to a new musical score."
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"An elegant, elegiac found-footage work from Bill Morrison, best known for his silent-film reverie "Decasia.""
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Filmmaker Bill Morrison mined the archives of the British Film Institute for found footage for this poetic and haunting impressionistic study about coal mining in England."
‑ Jennifer Merin, About.com
"In contrast to the vast, impersonal sweep of the contemporary footage, the archival material, some of which dates back over 100 years, is eerily intimate."
‑ Andrew Schenker, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Miners' Hymns on Rotten Tomatoes