A dramatic coal mining investigation

HonkyTonk Films’ Journey to the end of coal is a gem of an iDoc: its cinematic interface and first-person format make this a fabulously simple interactive narrative. We are visitors with inquisitive minds, or journalists, going to China, west of Beijing, on something of an anthropological coal mine tour. By pursuing the train route mapped out for us and speaking to local villagers and migrant coal miners, we find that accidents are common and miners lead risky and unhealthy lives. We may have the odd encounter with Chinese party officials en route.

Abel Ségrétin, Grégoire Basdevant and Arnaud Dressen created a cinematic atmosphere, enriched with geographic text data and clean web development by 31Septembre, that convey a sense of drama to the web documentary. Co-directed by journalist Abel Ségrétin based in China and photo-journalist Samuel Bollendorff, the story’s architecture works with an early version of HonkyTonk Films‘ Klynt interactive editing software. French newspaper publisher Le Monde first released ‘Journey to the end of coal’ in November 2008.

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