Film about child miners in Ukraine banned at home

Kyiv Post reports an award-winning film scheduled to appear last month at an international documentary festival has been banned.

The film, ‘Pit Number 8’, is a Ukrainian-Estonian collaboration about child labour in abandoned mines. It has won 10 awards at international festivals. Oddly, the film was banned by its own producer:

“This film is deceitful and staged. It has nothing to do with documentaries and human rights issues,” said Interfilm production studio, the Ukrainian co-producers of the film, in a letter sent to Docudays Festival organizers. Your festival would violate copyright if the film is shown at the festival.”

The film is set around the Sykanov family, and shows the tragic demise of Ukraine’s coal mining in Donetsk region in the 1990-2000s, when the desperate residents of the town of Snezhnoe started digging for coal illegally and just about everywhere. Child labour was not uncommon then.

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