Into eternity

Ein Film von Michael Madsen

In seinem epischen Dokumentarthriller "Into Eternity" erzählt Regisseur Michael Madsen über den weltweit ersten Versuch, nuklearen Abfall für die Ewigkeit zu lagern. Es ist ein Ort, der für immer verschlossen bleiben muss, gefährlich und abstoßend. Niemand soll ihn jemals betreten. Doch wie lange wird er sicher sein?

Wir nennen ihn Onkalo - Onkalo bedeutet Versteck. Wir bauen ihn, um uns selbst zu schützen. Die Arbeiten an Onkalo haben im 20. Jahrhundert begonnen, als wir Kinder waren und werden im 22. Jahrhundert vollendet sein, lange nach unserem Tod. Für 100.000 Jahre soll hier etwas versteckt werden, was nirgendwo anders versteckt werden kann. Nichts von Menschen je erbautes hat auch nur ein Zehntel dieser Zeitspanne überdauert. Unsere ältesten Bauwerke, die Pyramiden, wurden vor 5.000 Jahren errichtet. Onkalo muss für die Ewigkeit gebaut werden. Into Eternity nimmt die Zuseher mit auf eine Reise in die Tiefe - und in eine ungewisse Zukunft.

Synopsis / English:

Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storages, which are vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. In Finland the world's first permanent repository is being hewn out of solid rock - a huge system of underground tunnels - that must last 100,000 years as this is how long the waste remains hazardous. Once the waste has been deposited and the repository is full, the facility is to be sealed off and never opened again. Or so we hope, but can we ensure that? And how is it possible to warn our descendants of the deadly waste we left behind? How do we prevent them from thinking they have found the pyramids of our time, mystical burial grounds, hidden treasures? Which languages and signs will they understand? And if they understand, will they respect our instructions? While gigantic monster machines dig deeper and deeper into the dark, experts above ground strive to find solutions to this crucially important radioactive waste issue to secure mankind and all species on planet Earth now and in the near and very distant future. Captivating, wondrous and extremely frightening, this feature documentary takes viewers on a journey never seen before into the underworld and into the future.

Directors note:

I am interested in the areas of documentary filmmaking where additional reality is created. By this I mean, that I do not think reality constitutes a fixed entity which accordingly can be documented - revealed - in this or that respect. Instead, I suspect reality to be dependent on and susceptible to the nature of it's interpretation. I am in other words interested in the potentials and requirements of how reality can be - and is - interpreted.

The ONKALO project of creating the worlds first final nuclear waste facility capable of lasting at least 100 000 years, transgresses both in construction and on a philosophical level all previous human endeavours. It represents something new. And as such I suspect it to be emblematic of our time - and it a strange way out of time, a unique vantagepoint for any documentary.

[Michael Madsen]