A film by Raul de la Fuente
2015, 28 minutes
No. 010


Life and survival is incredibly difficult in the bleak Cerro Rico mining district in Potosi, Bolivia. This is true for the men risking their lives going down into the mine shafts looking for silver ore, but especially so for the women, who are viewed by the men as fair game.

This powerful and breathtakingly-shot documentary introduces us to three women: Lucia (40), Ivonne (16) and Abigail (17). They talk about their daily lives, in which they are constantly dealing with violence, much of it sexual.

Lucia works as a night guard and often has to protect herself by setting off TNT. She wanders the inhospitable area accompanied by a pack of dogs. Ivonne always carries rocks with her to throw at potential attackers. But they are not even safe at home. "You can’t even trust your own brothers and father," Ivonne explains.

Abigail is the only woman in the area who goes down into the mines herself. She knows that as a minor she is not officially allowed to work there, but nobody has ever told her about her rights. The camera follows her down the pitch-black shafts, where the miners pray to a demon. “There’s no god in the mine,” says Abigail. In an area where not even weeds can grow, these tough and vulnerable women survive with a mix of courage and dynamite.

Shortlisted for Best Documentary Short Subject, Academy Awards
Winner, Best Short Documentary Film, Goya, Spanish Cinema Academy Awards

Winner, Best Director, SIMA- Social Media Impact Awards
Winner, Best Short Documentary Film, San Diego Latino IFF
Winner, Best Short Documentary Film, Lanzarote IFF

Minerita is enthusiastically recommended, especially for educators who are teaching in environmental, South American, gender, social, and labor studies.” - Educational Media Reviews Online