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Westray

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May 9, 1992. The Westray mine in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, explodes, instantly killing all 26 men working underground.

Mining coal in Pictou County is notoriously dangerous. It claimed the lives of 650 men in the last 100 years, the same number that died fighting in both world wars. But Westray was supposed to be different: a high-tech operation that would finally make coal mining safe.

Westray is a brilliant, innovative documentary that re-creates some of the Westray disaster's most harrowing moments. It focuses on the lives of three widows and three miners lucky enough not to be underground that day when the methane and coal dust ignited. But their lives were torn apart by the events. Meet some of the working men, who felt they had no option but to stay on at Westray. And wives, who heard the rumours, saw their men sometimes bloodied from accidents, and stood by them, hoping it would all turn out all right.

This film reaches beyond Westray. It's also about working people everywhere--whose lives are often entrusted to companies that violate the most fundamental rules of safety and decency in the name of profit.

2001, 79 min 37 s

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Prix Plaque de Bronze - catégorie: Questions sociales
Festival international du film et de la vidéo
Du 23 au 25 octobre 2002, Columbus - États-Unis

Prix Génie décerné au meilleur documentaire
Prix Génie
7 février 2002, Toronto - Canada

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