The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner
A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner

A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner 1910


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner 1910

9 mins United Kingdom

This early example of an ‘interest’ film from Charles Urban's Kineto company captures the daily routine of the average coal miner, from his early-morning goodbyes through the full day’s work and eventual evening journey home.

It’s now regarded as a key film in the development of the British documentary, long before the term was coined, for its utilisation of staged sequences and the creative application of contrasts and inter-titles, in a manner familiar to the later lexicon of documentary cinema.

A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner is presented here in a restoration by the BFI National Archive supported by the Headley Trust.

Although this presentation is silent, the film is available in a scored version on the BFI DVD compilation Early Cinema: Primitives and Pioneers.


Coal on Film




United Kingdom



Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Coalminer
Watch for free 15 mins

Coalminer 1944

An insight into the life of coal miner Charles Jones from the Rhondda valley, an area famous for its coal production.

15 mins United Kingdom

View Romance of a Lump of Coal
Romance of a Lump of Coal
Watch for free 5 mins

Romance of a Lump of Coal 1935

A filmic speed date with the multifaceted rock celebrates its talents and virtues in the days before its shortcomings soured the relationship.

5 mins United Kingdom

View Coal Face
Coal Face
Watch from £0.85 11 mins

Coal Face 1935

A striking and significant film from the early days of the British documentary movement, chronicling the work of British miners.

11 mins United Kingdom Director. Alberto Cavalcanti


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later