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'Into Eternity' tells startling story of radioactive repository

'Into Eternity' tells startling story of radioactive repository

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The oldest surviving human structures are 9,000 years old. A safe storage facility for nuclear waste would have to last more than 10 times that long. The vast impediments to preserving life in the post-nuclear era are confronted with bone-dry irony in the eerie Finnish documentary "Into Eternity."

Inside a mountain in rural Finland, workers will spend the next century digging a tunnel for a radioactive repository. Whether and how the danger of the spent nuclear fuel rods will be communicated to future generations is pondered here by bureaucrats, scientists, theologians and linguists.

Will the Onkalo cavern survive social upheaval, nuclear war and the inevitable next Ice Age? If there are signs, what languages and symbols should they employ?

Director Michael 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.

But will future humans have access to safe energy and recorded knowledge — or just sticks and stones?


"Into Eternity"

Three and a half stars (out of four) • Rating Not rated • Run time 1:15 • Content Some disturbing themes • When 7:30 p.m. today through Sunday • Where Moore Auditorium at Webster University

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