Skip to main content

Random thoughts on a movie and some South American miners

A movie on the Chilean mine cave-in and on the successful rescue of all 33 of the trapped miners after they had spent three months in a small room 2,300 feet underground, might not have sounded to some Hollywood moguls like the most likely prospect for a big hit.

Yes, it sounds like a compelling theme. But ... on the part of the endangered parties, there isn't a lot of action, after the early scene in which they're shown scrambling to get themselves to the safe room. After that, for them, it was waiting.

Here's a negative review of the movie that focuses on that point.

I enjoyed the movie more than Lizzie Plaugic did, but I see her point.

There was a fun subtheme about "the Bolivian." Most of the miners were local guys, Chileans. There was the one Bolivean, and he came in for more than his share of ribbing. The two nationalities have a long rivalry. There's a nice exchange between him and a fellow miner who thinks all Boliveans are natural thieves.

The Bolivian snaps, "Chile stole this land from us in 1881. So who are the thieves?"

Chilean responds, "Eighty eighty-one was  [shrugs] 1881."

Seldom has a tautology sounded more world-weary.

Anyway, the exchange inspired me to do a bit of convoluted research (i.e. I let my fingers type my way to a couple of relevant wikipedia articles.) The conflict in question was known as the "War of the Pacific" and it lasted from 1879 to 1883. The dialogue in question presumably referred to an incident within that war, a war that involved not only Chile and Bolivia but Peru and Argentina as well.

The map above is from a depiction of the major land campaign in that conflict.

As to the movie: how's it doing at the box office? Not so well, I understand. It earned $5.85 million on its first weekend. LOVE THE COOPERS got $8.4 million on the same weekend. Neither of them got James Bond style earnings. The latest entry from that franchise, SPECTRE, got $70 million in box office in its first weekend out of the gate.

Well, THE 33 might yet do well on the overseas showings -- as from the various countries that were involved in the Pacific War. As a sentimentalist, I hope it does. The miners involved never received any compensation. I'm hoping they have some share of the movie revenue rights on their story!


  1. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you need to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER get back...


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

Hume's Cutlery

David Hume is renowned for two pieces of cutlery, the guillotine and the fork.

Hume's guillotine is the sharp cut he makes between "is" statements and "ought" statements, to make the point that the former never ground the latter.

His "fork" is the division between what later came to be called "analytic" and "synthetic" statements, with the ominous observation that any books containing statements that cannot be assigned to one or the other prong should be burnt.

Actually, I should acknowledge that there is some dispute as to how well or poorly the dichotomy Hume outlines really maps onto the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. Some writers maintain that Hume meant something quite different and has been hijacked. Personally, I've never seen the alleged difference however hard they've worked to point it out to me.

The guillotine makes for a more dramatic graphic than a mere fork, hence the bit of clip art above.

I'm curious whe…