A young and ambitious civil servant Jussi finds himself being in charge of the environmental permit of a huge nickel and uranium mine in Northern Finland. The Talvivaara mine, led by a charismatic globe trotting visionary Pekka Perä is introducing an entirely new method of collecting minerals whilst creating jobs in one of the poorest areas in Scandinavia. Jussi slowly discovers that he has been led astray by several people and that the new method has serious downsides he did not foresee. The mine is causing environmental hazards that are being hushed down. A new application for another permit is brought to his table by the same mine. Along with the application comes an interesting job offer and a chance of a new beginning. Jussi has to decide whether he will play along and if so, with whom.Written by
Important movie about the disaster mine Talvivaara and structural corruption in Finland
We in Finland are used to be noticed as least corrupted country in the world. Mining industry with environmental problems has been discussed around Finland. The Talvivaara nickel-zinc-uranium mine has been a major environmental, economic and political scandal. The environmental problems started with opening the mine 2007-2008 with release of hydrogen sulfide gas, dust and toxic chemicals to waterways. This culminated in November 2012 with a spill of tons of heavy metals, 0.5-1.0 ton of uranium, huge amounts of aluminum, sulphate, manganese, and iron to Oulujoki and Vuoksi waterways.*
The movie the Mine (Finnish Jättiläinen/Giant) explains the business and administration secrets of the environmental catastrophe. There is special type of corruption called structural corruption directing permit and supervision authorities to allow and not to notice unreasonable waste amounts in the environment. The mine director and owner Pekka Perä (Jani Volanen, amazing resemblance of public figure of Mr Perä) takes unreasonable risks to deliver "a good story" to investors who start the mine with 500 million euro.
The mine permit authorities are engineer and geologist friends of the miners, and go hunting together. A new environmental permit officer Jussi Karevuo (Joonas Saartamo, a fictive character resembling a real life permit officer) gets a big job for permitting the new Talvivaara mine from the boss Raimo (Peter Franzén). There is benefits in pleasing the industry like highly paid jobs as environmental managers of the mine companies, but failure in this would be punished by the society of "the good brothers"(a Finnish expression for the circles). The movie company used highly appreciated investigative journalists like Juha Kauppinen and Hanna Nikkanen to dig facts behind the scandal.
There will be material for part 2. The Talvivaara disaster goes on with the name Terrafame and with funding of Finnish state, which has been considered to be against EU competition regulations. The structural corruption driving the economically hopeless and technically non-functional mine is continuing and members of parliament are asking after taxpayers money without answers. The state mining company and supporting politicians like minister Olli Rehn are openly requiring and lobbying for a waste water pipe line to lake Nauasjärvi already opened but in court. The mine project is a threat to travel industry of Sotkamo with 1 million sleeping nights every year at lake Nuasjärvi, and a threat to for example agriculture, summer cottage owners and fishermen.
Gothenburg Film Festival review: https://www.filmdoo.com/blog/2016/02/03/film-review-the-mine-2016/
English information about Talvivaara www.nuclear-heritage.net/
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