International documentaries in the pipeline for story of Los 33

Television networks National Geographic, PBS and the Discovery Channel are presenting their footage of the extraordinary rescue operation.


More than 1 billion people watched the historic rescue of 33 Chilean miners from deep below the Atacama Desert on Oct. 13.

The men’s ability to survive for 17 days on rations of tuna, milk and biscuits before being discovered by rescue crews captured the attention of the world. The incredible operation to bring them back to the surface from 700 meters deep in the San José mine near Copiapó was covered by around 2,000 media.

With the men now safely back on the surface and recovering from their 70-day ordeal, a slew of documentaries are being released that will review what happened in detail.

Already the US-owned National Geographic has released Buried Alive: Miners in Chile, featuring interviews with relatives of the trapped miners, workers, union leaders, some members of the rescue team, as well as the lawyer of the San Esteban company, the mine’s owners.

It features scenes from the days after the men were first trapped, the joyous moment when the now famous message – “All 33 of us are OK, in the refuge” – was attached to the end of a drill by one of the miners, the days of waiting and hoping for the men’s safe rescue, as well as the rescue itself.

Both the Discovery Channel and PBS will also be releasing documentaries at the end of the month.

The Discovery Channel Latin America one-hour documentary – Rescued: The Chilean mine story, will be simulcast Oct. 28 in the United States and across Latin America and will be aired in November in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It will include interviews with Andre Sougarett, head of the miner rescue operation, a look at the three drills used in the operation and interviews with engineers and technicians in charge of them.

Meanwhile, local filmmakers are also planning documentaries that will include footage from the early days after the men were trapped.

Omar Reygadas, whose father of the same name was one of the men who lived in the mine, told AFP he filmed the entire ordeal and hopes his dad will provide commentary for the film.

Miguel Soffia, a young documentary maker from Viña del Mar, is also working on a documentary to be titled later, that focuses on life on the surface in the area set up around the mine that the families called “Camp Hope.”