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Coal Face is a 1935 British documentary film short directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. With a film score by Benjamin Britten[1] and a poem written and narrated by W.H. Auden,[2] the film gives a glimpse into the lives of a Scottish mining community and the dangerous working conditions the miners routinely faced.[3]

Coal Face
Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti
Produced by John Grierson
Written by W.H. Auden
Music by Benjamin Britten
Cinematography Stuart Legg
Edited by William Coldstream
Release date
Running time
11 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English


  1. ^ White, Eric Walter (1970). Benjamin Britten: His Life and Operas. University of California Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-520-01679-3. 
  2. ^ Thesing, William B. (2000). Caverns of Night: Coal Mines in Art, Literature, and Film. University of South Carolina Press. p. 120. ISBN 1-57003-352-8. 
  3. ^ Aitken (2006). Aitken, Ian, ed. Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film. Routledge. pp. 237–238. ISBN 978-1-57958-445-0. 

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