Director: Bill Morrison

UK 2010 | Black & white and colour | 50 mins | Documentary

Avaliable on: DVD

This compelling elegy in film and music to the coal mining history of North East England is the result of an exceptional creative collaboration between renowned experimental American filmmaker Bill Morrison (Decasia) and acclaimed Icelandic musician and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Focusing on the mines in the Durham area, The Miners’ Hymns shows the intense labour, endurance, vibrant community and rich culture that characterised the lives of those who worked underground during the twentieth century, and the legacy of mining in the region.

Collaged from archive film from the BFI National Archive, Amber Films & Photography Collective, BBC and the Northern Region Film and Television Archive, The Miners’ Hymns celebrates social, cultural and political aspects of the now-extinct mining industry, and the strong regional tradition of colliery brass bands.

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s newly composed modern classical score draws upon the region’s brass music and moves from dark and brooding minimalism to moments of rousing transcendence. The Miners’ Hymns had its worldwide premiere at The Tribeca Film Festival in New York during April 2011.