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Into Eternity

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Into Eternity

Montreal Premiere

  • Denmark 2010
  • 75 min
  • HD
  • English
Official Selection, Hot Docs 2010
Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival 2010



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“Plays like science fiction, but it's alarmingly contemporary… you'll be left to wonder about the answers to the film's questions long after it ends” — Christopher Campbell, CINEMATICAL


Director: Michael Madsen
Screenplay: Michael Madsen
Cast: Michael Madsen,Timo Äikäs, Carl Reinhold Bråkenhjelm, Mikael Jensen, Berit Lundqvist
Producers: Lise Lense-Møller
Print Source: Films Transit

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Documentaries From The Edge   

Documentaries From The Edge

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2009 | 24 min
, English subtitles



For hours, you have been advancing through a subterranean tunnel. It is deeply, disquietingly dark but you cannot resist continuing. Your instincts tell you that the passage leads to a secret. You aren’t wrong. A very long time ago, far longer than you can imagine, your ancestors hid something as deep underground as they could. They did this to protect you. What has been hidden here must never be brought back to the surface. You should not be here. Follow your footsteps back immediately, leave the tunnel and drive it from your memory. If you continue forward, you will face death and uncover an evil that could spell the doom of humanity. You have been warned.

The joy that greeted the dawn of nuclear energy was soon replaced by great apprehension. Though it allowed for many remarkable advances in science and technology, it also generated massive amounts of toxic waste, lethal to any life on the planet. These radioactive residues, which remain potent for a staggering 100,000 years, must be handled with the greatest of care. A solution was settled on—they must be buried deep in the ground where nothing can reach them. In Finland in 2004, a group of scientists initiated the construction of an underground structure called Onkalo. Every day, tons of nuclear waste are deposited five kilometres below the surface of the Earth. When this cavern is full, it will be sealed off. The Onkalo initiative, however, brings new problems, of a more philosophical nature. How do we warn our descendants not to dig into this place? How do we communicate with people we know nothing about and who, many millennia from now, will without a doubt have no grasp of our current languages? How do we protect the children of tomorrow from the errors of their ancestors?

By way of this missive to humankind of the future, Michael Madsen delves into these challenging, fascinating questions. Interviewing specialists with often contradictory opinions, he shows how the search for a solution inevitably reaches an impasse, as we can only extrapolate the future of our species from the most tenuous hypotheses. Viewed this way, most of the plans for warning signs, ambitious as they may be, seem crazy. Madsen also leads a voyage into Onkalo itself, conjuring an array of hypnotic and sublimely contemplative images. Falling somewhere between science fiction and poetic documentary, INTO ETERNITY confronts its audience with a galaxy of possible futures and a very immediate realization of the damage we do to our world today.

—Simon Laperrière (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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