Misère au Borinage
1934 / 36m - Belgium
Borinage poster


July 28, 2020


Old, silent and pro-socialist documentary about the plight of the miners in the Borinage, following their protests against the wasteful actions of the proletariat. They were willing to ruin their own stock, simply to drive up the price of the goods they wanted to sell. It's a classic rich vs poor story that shows some things haven't changed in the past century.

The stark black and white cinematography is nice, but also pretty convenient in making the miners' situation look extra dire and depressing. Not that they were to be envied, far from it, but it does give the documentary a certain hellish feel that doesn't really correspond with reality.

The documentary has no narration, no music either. It's an interesting window into Belgian history, but mostly for people who are naturally interested in that sort of thing. The story itself really isn't all that special and even though the film is only 30 minutes long, it struggled to hold my attention.