Into Eternity


Into Eternity (2011)


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Onkalo (Finnish for "hiding place") is under construction: it's a cavernous world of tunnels and corridors, a permanent storage facility for nuclear waste, meant to last 100,000 years (that's 20 times as long as the pyramids have so far). Conceptual artist Michael Madsen's film is a creepy, eerily elegant meditation on human folly, punctuated by philosophical and historical references, that asks: how do you keep 3,000 future generations from inadvertently opening this Pandora's Box? Should markers be posted in every language or in hieroglyphics that say "keep out"? (Someone suggests Edvard Munch's "The Scream" might work nicely.) Would it be better not to post any notice and hope no one will chance upon it? And what about the Ice Age predicted to occur in a mere 60,000 years? Will the weight of the ice impact the structural integrity of Onkalo? If you thought the Gulf oil spill was scary... -- (C) Film Forum


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Critic Reviews for Into Eternity

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (11)

Into Eternity is a documentary that may look like a science fiction movie, but it ends up more of a horror film.

Jun 17, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Madsen, whose symmetrical compositions and slo-mo shots of uniformed workers have a quality of Kubrickian sci-fi, frames the film as a message to the future.

May 27, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

In a deceptively low-key manner, Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen has beautifully crafted one of the most provocative movies of the year.

May 26, 2011 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Directed by Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen with grace and deep curiosity, "Into Eternity" is better than timely.

Apr 8, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4

Into Eternity provides few solutions regarding the estimated 200,000 to 300,000 tons of N-waste lying around the world, but it does alert us to potentially devastating consequences. Will we heed the warning?

Feb 7, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

More like a troubling dream, or outtakes from an abandoned David Lynch project, than a conventional documentary.

Feb 4, 2011

Audience Reviews for Into Eternity


"Into Eternity" is a thought provoking documentary about the excavation of Onkalo, a nuclear waste disposal site buried 500 meters into bedrock in northern Finland. Since it is hopefully meant to last 100,000 years, a lot of thought is given to whether or not some warning should be left. If so, what kind?(Of course, warnings did no good at the pyramids while archaeologists stumble over artifacts everyday.) The documentary takes testimony from officials, along with the lucky guy who gets to blow stuff up for a living. Aside from speculation about the future which is always good nerdy fun, what "Into Eternity" does well is deliver a very subtle anti-nuclear power message, just beneath all of the debate. Onkalo is just one facility that will take 100 years to be built, just to store Finland's nuclear waste for a century. And then you have the amount of nuclear waste in the world today which is about 250,000 tons that has to be disposed of safely, so there will have to be many other sites like Onkalo which could conceivably be time bombs for people thousands of years in the future. And if anybody is reading this in the year 100,000, I am so unbelievably sorry about "Jersey Shore." I have no idea what we were all thinking.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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