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Source:  South China Morning Post

From the age of 15, Zhao Pinfeng worked for two decades as an iron ore miner in a remote, mountainous area of Hunan province in central China.

Several years ago Zhao, who by then had two children and a wife who is mentally challenged, was diagnosed with pneumoconiosis, a fatal lung disease.  He lost the ability to work and had to breathe through a ventilator.

On one fateful night in 2018, an electricity outage at his village stopped his ventilator.  He died the next day.

Zhao’s final days were recorded for a documentary, “Miners, the Horsekeeper and Pneumoconiosis.”

Directed by Jiang Nengjie, the film revolves around Hunan villagers who relied on the illegal mines for a living before they were closed down by the government.  They include porters who transport the mine explosives and iron shards, and miners like Zhao.

Nengjie tells the South China Morning Post that he distributed the film privately because he did not send it to China’s censors for approval.  “We can’t show it for a fee as it is illegally published work,” he says.

Read the story at the South China Morning Post.


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