Walker Art Center

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The Miners’ Hymns

Director Bill Morrison present for a post-screening discussion

Part of Expanding the Frame: For the Love of Film

“Morrison does not assemble, nor does he go directly from point A to point B. He manipulates images, enhancing mood and scoring progressive political points through his juxtapositions. … An unapologetic poet, a unique talent.” —Screen Daily

The story of the ill-fated coal-mining communities in Northeast England is told entirely without words as it depicts the hardship of pit work, the role of trade unions in organizing and fighting for workers’ rights, the years of increased mechanization, and the annual Miners’ Gala in Durham. The massive strikes in 1984 that sounded the death knell for the British mining industry are also included in rediscovered footage from various archives, including the British Film Institute and the BBC. The compelling score of The Miners’ Hymns is by Icelandic musician and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. 2011, video, 52 minutes.

Preceded by Who by Water. Drawing from a passage from the Rosh Hashana Service, “Who shall live, who shall die… who by water, who by fire,” this short film deals with that which has been preordained—a future history that will in time unfold before us as the faces of passengers on a ship forces us to contemplate our own fate. Music by Michael Gordon. 2007, video, 18 minutes.

A discussion with the director follows the screening.

Funding

The Expanding the Frame series is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.