Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Basilio narrates his tale with such wit and wisdom that one comes away from the film wondering how much youthful potential is slowly being choked to death deep within the bowels of the earth.
  2. This beautiful, terrible story is not easily forgotten.
  3. 15 minutes into it, you are spellbound, heartbroken and unaccountably cheered -- your faith and admiration in humanity restored.
  4. 83
    So polished that it might pass for a scripted narrative feature, but that's not a bad thing. They found a remarkable spokesman in Bolivian teenager Basilio Vargas, and while his cogent, organized descriptions of his life, beliefs, history, and ambitions sometimes seem too calculated, at least they're calculated to communicate efficiently and appealingly.
  5. While political and social context is kept to a minimum, the darkly poetic images they capture speak volumes about what the miners go through.
  6. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    An unforgettable journey through hell under the earth, where Satan is worshipped as king. Straight-as-an-arrow filmmaking raises this docu above the crowd.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard M. Porton
    A powerful indictment of the horrendous treatment of children who toil in hellish Bolivian silver mines. The filmmakers are better at fashioning haunting images than offering hard-nosed analysis, yet they never sentimentalize their young protagonists' plight.
  8. 75
    Guaranteed to leave you outraged at the way children - and, for that matter, adults - are exploited by mining companies.
  9. It's a simple film with a direct message, but the glimpses of the surrounding social culture that has adapted to the horrors give this Third World "How Green Was My Valley" its identity.
  10. 70
    It’s the captured conversations about everyday lives and struggles that pin you to your seat.
  11. Perhaps little more than an object lesson in the end, the movie's nevertheless a sobering day trip, more for its hints of a forgotten history of culture collision than its sensible but rote socioeconomic sympathies.
  12. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    A brave, sincere film that leaves you wishing that more light had been shed on the darkness.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. RichardB.
    Jul 27, 2006
    This 14 year old is amazing. Excellent and heartbreaking movie.
  2. KevinC.
    Jun 1, 2006
    One of the most riveting movies I've ever seen. The lives of these people were captured in a sensistive, yet mind-blowing way. The dialogue, the camera work the scenery are fantastic. If you see one movie the rest of the year make it this one . If it wasn;t true, you wouldn't believe it. Full Review »
  3. JamesM.
    May 20, 2006
    I happened to see this film by accident in a late night slot on Britain's BBC channel - its stunning and tragic - I'd implore everyone out there to watch it. Full Review »