Director: Jean-Philippe Marquis | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: Canada
Kienze is a cassiterite mine in the deep savannah of the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the ore is dug by hand. Unemployment brings thousand of men of various backgrounds, languages and tribes to leave their home and live in crowded mining camps near ore deposits. Miners and their families must use their ingenuity to run their own economic system, resolve conflicts, maintain basic sanitary conditions and keep themselves entertained. Over time they developed their own social norms, material culture and vocabulary. This ethnographic film documents the extracting techniques, the concerns and the living conditions of the men who dig, by hand, the precious metals the West craves.