February 19, 2011

Notes From BIFF 2011: Into Eternity. ~ René Cousineau

“This is not an important place, it is a place of danger.”

~ Into Eternity, on the Onkalos.

What’s an Onkalo? Up until about an hour and a half ago, I wouldn’t have had the faintest idea as to how to answer that question. Seventy-five minutes later, after seeing Michael Madsen’s Into Eternity (Denmark), I’m more than ready to school you in matters of nuclear waste.

Onkalo is Finnish for “cave, cavern or hiding place,” and it is Finland’s “permanent” solution to the problem of what to do with nuclear waste. I’ll waste no time explaining it, just watch this:


Into Eternity shows us exactly how Onkalo is coming along, and the risk it poses to future generations, and even future civilizations. What happens if an ice age occurs, and the humans that come to be afterward find this trove of dangerous, radioactive material and mistake it for some kind of tomb or treasure? This is the question that remains in the foreground of the film. It’s eerie.

At one point, Madsen asks the scientists and engineers behind this project to address the humans of the future, what would they say to these people if they were to come across Onkalo?

One of them responds by saying this:

“Go back up to the surface and take better care of our world than we did. Good luck.”

This film was frightening and fascinating. Unfortunately, there will be no second chance to see it at the festival, but I encourage you to check it out once it’s released. As a girl that couldn’t have given a hoot about nuclear waste and where we put it before I had this information, I can honestly say that it’s relevant, thought-provoking, and valuable for all audiences.

Into Eternity is part of this years Call-2-Action series which features films that have “the unique and creative ability to educate, integrate and involve the entire community to teach us about our world.” If this seems to be right up your activist alley, be sure to check out a few of the other films in the series.

Call-2-Action films screening on Saturday:

The Last Lions
Bag It
For Once in My Life
Hand Held
Freedom Riders

René Cousineau was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, CO. She currently lives in Boulder and is a student of fiction writing and Russian literature. She spends her time reading, cleaning, hiking, dancing, and slinging cupcakes at a local bakery/coffee shop.

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