Conversation with Michael Madsen: Director of “Into Eternity” – Nuclear Waste

film still, Into Eternity, courtesy Michael Madsen

[Link contributed by: Elma Huskic ]

My foremost interest in the Onkalo facility … is how we are able to put things into the world that have these far reaching consequences. This is new I think, this has never happened before in the history of mankind. And as such, I think the Onkalo facility represents something new, something significant. – Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen is the director of the film Into Eternity. This week the film begins its US theatrical release at the Film Forum on February 2, 2011 with a two week run.

FOP had the opportunity to interview Michael on April 29, 2010, after Into Eternity screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. During our conversation we discussed what it was like for him to enter the Onkalo facility as a filmmaker and to work directly with those involved in bringing Onkalo into reality: engineers, scientists, medical technicians and communication directors.

At the core of Into Eternity is an attempt to imagine communicating to humans hundreds of thousands of years into the future (the film is structured as an address to the future). We talked with Michael about why he chose this mode of address and how he hoped audiences of today would respond to it. We also discussed how the circumstances that necessitate the building of facilities such as Onkalo demarcate a fundamentally new chapter in human history.

  • Into Eternity – Trailer April 18, 2015
  • Into Eternity English Subtitle | Film about Nuclear Waste April 18, 2015

    Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storage, which is vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. In Finland the world’s first permanent repository is being hewn out of solid rock – a huge system of underground tunnels – that must last 100,000 years as this is how long the waste remains hazardous.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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