Miners drive into the mine-shaft, joke in the dry, stand under steaming showers, and – pit lamps on their heads – sing about their fathers and grandfathers who’ve also worked as miners. Familiar looking images that will soon have disappeared. The mates of the Welsh pit Tower Colliery are the “Last Men Standing” in a dead mining area. After mass pit closures they have bought their own in 1995, preventing it from being shut-down too – hoping to be able to secure the future of their community.
While scenes in the mine are determined by the busy rhythm of hard work, the outside world has come to a complete standstill. Kids of the last standing men are hanging around on empty streets and waste land, smashed, stoned, already dead. While parents worry about keeping the pit open – its days are numbered – adolescents describe their career prospects with: “powder, pills, heroin, graveyard”. Tower blocks are demolished, residential areas die, every now and then someone dies of a hot shot. “I don’t give a fuck” says a boy.
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