Into Eternity | Chicago Reader

Into Eternity

Danish artist Michael Madsen directed and narrates this chilling video documentary about the construction of a nuclear waste storage facility in Finland that must remain closed for 100,000 years. Madsen begins by explaining the facility in neutral, scientific terms, but this clinical approach gives way to philosophic dread as the "practical" concerns of the project become increasingly abstract. Ultimately the task of storing nuclear waste seems far less difficult than creating a Do Not Enter sign that will be comprehensible for all time. This particular challenge provokes a number of unanswerable questions (Will human beings of the distant future still communicate through written language? What will they look like?) whose cosmic nature recalls the pioneering sci-fi novels of Olaf Stapledon. Madsen, a cannier storyteller than he first seems, organizes the interview footage to create a startling sense of momentum.

Credits

Director:

  • Michael Madsen

Producer:

  • Lise Lense-Moller

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