This film is part of Rentals

Above Us the Earth 15 rating

Karl Francis’ docu-drama about the closure of the Ogilvie Colliery in the Rhymney Valley by the National Coal Board in 1975.

Documentary 1977 82 mins

Director: Karl Francis



Independent Welsh filmmaker Karl Francis uses amateur and professional actors to explore the community impact of the 1975 closure of the Ogilvie Colliery in the Rhymney Valley, a few miles from his family home. Critical of the National Coal Board and the trade unions, the film focuses on the fractious interactions between politicians and union leaders, teasing out the forces that are attempting to divide the community.

The film examines with brutal honesty the dilemma of the mining communities during the closures and highlights the issues of employment. Francis doesn’t let any negotiating parties off the hook as he examines a raft of contributing factors, almost forensically, from diverse perspectives.