THE HEART OF THE EARTH

EL CORAZÓN DE LA TIERRA

By Antonio CUADRI

ABRA PROD - as PROD

Action/Adventure - Completed 2007

1888. The copper mines of Riotinto are owned by an English Company which cruelly exploits its workers as its management grow rich. Then an outsider, Maximilliano Tornet, who realises the terrible injustice, unites miners and farmers in a peaceful strike.

Festivals
& Awards

San Sebastian FF 2013
Co-production Forum - Director's Previous Works
    • Year of production
    • 2007
    • Genres
    • Action/Adventure
    • Countries
    • SPAIN
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Duration
    • 98 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Antonio CUADRI
    • Synopsis
    • Andalucia. The starkly beautiful region of Southern Spain, bridge between the continents of Europe and Africa and backdrop to this gripping saga of courage and love, revenge and redemption, and the lasting strength of a friendship…
      Parallel stories unfold, drawing to a climax where the secrets of the past catch up with the maelstrom of the present…
      1888. The copper mines of Riotinto are owned by an English Company which cruelly exploits its workers as its management grow rich. Then an outsider, Maximilliano Tornet, who realises the terrible injustice, unites miners and farmers in a peaceful strike to protest against the devastation of the land and exploitation of the people. But only days later, Spanish troops, co-opted by the Company, turn guns and bayonets on their own people to quell the rebellion and then hide the evidence of the Massacre by stealing the bodies of the murdered strikers. Unable to bury their dead, the population is left grief-stricken and cowed and the truth about the Massacre is hidden from the outside world.
      1900. Two women, two friends who, as children, witnessed the Massacre and its terrible aftermath, remain inspired by Maximilliano. Blanca Bosco, one of the native Spanish women, and Kathleen Crown, one of the English occupiers, fight in their own ways for the people of Riotinto; Blanca as a writer and teacher who tries to challenge the authorities by peaceful means, and Kathleen who is prepared to use violence to bring about change.
      Then two adventurers are called in by the Company from overseas to run the mine; Baxter and his bodyguard and friend, Robert. Baxter is ambitious, seeing Riotinto as the opportunity for huge success, while Robert finds himself drawn to Blanca, in spite of the differences between them.
      As Baxter grows more ruthless, corrupted by his ambition for great wealth, Blanca senses in Robert a changing attitude towards the injustice and persuades him not to follow Baxter’s cruel ways. Baxter sees this as a betrayal at the same time realising that Blanca and Robert are falling in love, and he and Robert fight as Baxter tries to assert his authority over Robert and the town.
      But what Blanca doesn’t realise is that Kathleen is also attracted to Robert, and while Blanca works in her peaceful way for the Villagers, Kathleen draws Robert into her revolution. And then one night, after the thrill and adrenalin of a successful revenge raid on some Company men who were involved in the Massacre, Kathleen and Robert make love. Kathleen instantly realises it’s a mistake and that Robert’s heart belongs to Blanca, but the damage is done because Blanca sees them together.
      Feeling pressure to take control of the escalating unrest in the Village, Baxter decides on a course of action that will bring him only pain and misery. At the same time, Blanca, in an act of great courage, steps in to stop the fighting. But it is too late. Robert is caught in the crossfire trying to protect Baxter and dies. Kathleen, having played a violent part in the confrontation, has to escape into the hills for her life. Blanca cradles the dying Robert in her arms, not knowing how she’ll find the strength to go on. Baxter is left to contemplate his life without the one person he’d ever called his friend.
      Blanca drifts through the months in a daze of grief. Then one day, Baxter seeks her out. And in front of her eyes, he shuts down the pernicious chimneys that have been spewing sulphurous smoke into the Village for decades. They both know it’s what Robert would have wanted.
      And then one night, there is a knock at the door. Blanca opens it to find Kathleen hiding in the shadows with a bundle in her arms. It’s a baby; hers and Roberts. She gives the baby to Blanca. Where she’s going, it’s not safe. And she knows it’s the right thing to do. Stunned, Blanca watches Kathleen disappear into the night…Blanca and the baby leave the Village, vowing to put the past behind them for ever…
      1910. Portugal. Blanca makes a home for herself with her baby and starts to write children’s books based on the stories of her childhood. Then she gets a telegram: Kathleen has died. Finding the strength to, finally, put the past behind her, she vows to bring the truth about the Massacre and the dreadful secrets of Riotinto to the world by writing a novel, Heart of the Earth…
Distribution Country
Release date
Distributor
Rights
Local title
Company Country Roles