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The subject of "Into Eternity" is Onkalo, the Finnish government's attempt to solve its nuclear waste problem by carving a vast, 4km-deep bunker out of solid rock to bury it in for at least the next 100,000 years. However, the film's focus is bigger. Instead of looking for cover-ups and conspiracies at the site, Madsen uses the existence of Onkalo to create a hauntingly beautiful meditation on the mortality of our civilization, asking the question: what do we say about ourselves when we create something that will outlast everything we understand? That may be the last thing that remains of our society?Written by
Ulf Kjell Gür
A white and eerie endless tunnel blasted out of the rock leads us in to the sinister yet strangely lyrical world of nuclear waste storage. The frozen trees of Finland lead us along icy tracks to something which must be beautiful, but no, it is the wicked giant who lives below the earth. We must never ever disturb him. Michael Madsen has produced and presents this film for the future with great love and concern for his fellow humans and the planet. Striking a match from within the dark and deep tunnel, a permanent tomb for nuclear waste, his face partially lit by the diminishing flame, Madsen speaks like a prophet/poet as he addresses the future and explains the dangers of disturbing this alchemical product entombed beneath the rock. He interviews the Finnish and Swedish scientists of the Onkalo project whose job it is to lock this stuff away and their philosophical dilemma about its whereabouts. Should we leave a marker warning DANGER KEEP OUT or should the site be unmarked and forgotten in the hope that it will truly never be disturbed. In this case never means, 100,000 years. Filmed across a large shiny desk with harsh lighting these poor men look anguished and disturbed by their responsibilities, almost to the point of nervous collapse. The footage of clear icicle-like rods containing the waste being lowered into shafts and water pools is like watching a ballet performed by gigantic molecules operated by an invisible hand. Everyone should see this film. It is a disturbing testament to our brightly lit lives which we continue to take for granted at our and the planet's peril.
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