El Corazón de la Tierra - Heart of the Earth reveals an unedited page of Spanish history from more than 120 years ago and it deals with issues still very relevant today: the conflict between economic interests and quality of life, pollution, colonialism, human rights, and the exploitation of child labor.
The film is based on a novel (Riotinto Mines/Minas de Riotinto) by the Spanish poet Juan Cobos Wilkins. It transports us to the Riotinto mine during the period from 1888 to 1957. In particular, the novel narrates the events of 1888, the year in which the Riotinto miners launched a rebellion against British rule.
It's a historical drama, set around the British-owned copper mines of Andalusia's Rio Tinto in 1888 and depicts the friendship of two women, one Spanish and the other British, against the social upheavals of the time. Based on the true story of the arrival of Cuban anarchist Maximiliano Tornet, which resulted in a strike -- the first ecological demonstration in history -- and a massacre. Blanca Bossa, age 9, and her British friend Kathleen, daughter of the mine's director, witness the horrific living conditions of mine workers, as well as air pollution and acid rain.People living in the huge area from Seville to Southern Portugal suffer from the toxic fumes the mining produces--as do animals. Thousands of people from all over the Province of Huelva follow the revolutionary Maximilliano (with whom Blanca's mother falls in love) in the world's first ecological protest march. They peacefully demand better working conditions and the end of toxic gases, which British law had outlawed 30 years before. For economic reasons, the mine management refuses.Spanish soldiers, sent by the governor who is very loyal to the British mining firm, open fire on the protesters in Riotinto's Plaza. Decades later, Blanca and Kathleen, along with the mine owner and his bodyguards, attend a memorial ceremony marking the "year of the shots."
In the 50s the mines were returned to Spain. The film is dedicated to the memory of everybodywho died in the square of Rio Tinto.