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Sundance review: ‘Marmato’

First Published      Last Updated Jan 18 2014 07:37 am


U.S. Documentary

***1/2 (three and a half stars)

It would be nice to call "Marmato," a stunning documentary about gold miners in a Colombian town trying to maintain their traditional ways in the face of global corporate interests, a David-and-Goliath story. Except that here Goliath has the money, the government, pliable legislatures, oily lawyers and an army on its side -- so David never really has a chance. Still, director Mark Grieco goes to ground level, and under it, by interviewing hardscrabble laborers, visiting corporate reps, and a local mine owner holding out for the best offer. What emerges is a luminous, humanist portrait of the struggling miners who work for a pittance whether the bosses are the local landowners or a Canadian conglomerate.

-- Sean P. Means

"Marmato" (partly in Spanish, with subtitles) screens again: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Redstone Cinema 1, Park City; Sunday at noon at the Sundance Screening Room, Sundance resort; Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Broadway Centre Cinemas 6, Salt Lake City; Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, Park City; Saturday, Jan. 25, at noon at the Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City.