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Trapped Chilean miners to appear on the big screen

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Hugo Infante/AP

(Read caption) In this Oct. 13, 2010, file photo released by the Chilean government, miner Mario Sepulveda celebrates after being rescued from the collapsed San José gold and copper mine where he was trapped with 32 other miners for more than two months near Copiapó, Chile. The 33 miners have sold the rights to their story to producer Mike Medavoy.

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The last major international movie filmed in Chile – the James Bond thriller "Quantum of Solace" – was, according to the story, actually a portrayal of Bolivia. And earlier films offered either convenient anecdotes of the country’s dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet or an otherwise narrow view of Chilean society.

So, given how their country has been portrayed on the silver screen, Chileans may greet with skepticism news that the successful rescue of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days will be made into a Hollywood feature film.

How will Hollywood treat Chile’s moment of triumph in the Atacama Desert when this long strip of a nation commanded the world's attention late last year?

“Chileans are shy, but we’re fascinated by what others say about us,” says Cecilia Varas. “Still, I have no doubt it will be a good display of the Chilean spirit.”

Errors and fantasy are to be expected, Ms. Varas added, but she had little doubt that the best of the film would be the real story itself.

For 69 days, “Los 33,” as they are now known, were trapped 2,300 feet under the desert floor after the San José gold and copper mine caved in. The miraculous rescue and the details of their harrowing experience, including the first 17 days before they were found alive, is not something that requires exaggeration, says José Luis Bilbao.


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