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Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storages, which are vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. In Finland the world's first permanent repository is being hewn outEvery day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storages, which are 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. Once the waste has been deposited and the repository is full, the facility is to be sealed off and never opened again. Or so we hope, but can we ensure that? And how is it possible to warn our descendants of the deadly waste we left behind? How do we prevent them from thinking they have found the pyramids of our time, mystical burial grounds, hidden treasures? Which languages and signs will they understand? And if they understand, will they respect our instructions? While gigantic monster machines dig deeper and deeper into the dark, experts above ground strive to find solutions to this crucially important radioactive waste issue to secure mankind and all species on planet Earth now and in the near and very distant future. Captivating, wondrous and extremely frightening, this feature documentary takes viewers on a journey never seen before into the underworld and into the future. (Magic Hour Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    May 27, 2011
    100
    In a deceptively low-key manner, Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen has beautifully crafted one of the most provocative movies of the year.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Feb 3, 2011
    91
    Although Madsen's survey of warning strategies has an aimless structure prone to repetition, he creates an effective mood that transcends his time-travel gimmick and eventually becomes topical.
  3. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Feb 4, 2011
    75
    Madsen interviews experts galore, but few seem to know what's going to happen with this project in the next decade -- let alone 100,000 years.
  4. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Feb 1, 2011
    70
    It is meant to boggle the mind and inspire awe-and it does.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Feb 1, 2011
    70
    There is something apocalyptically awful about Onkalo, to be sure, but the impulse behind it is noble, and the installation itself has an undeniable grandeur.
  6. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Feb 7, 2011
    60
    Most important, given that Onkalo will hide and bury just some of Finland's waste, what about everyone else's? [14 & 21 Feb. 2011, p. 139]
  7. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Feb 4, 2011
    40
    Unfortunately, Madsen (a Danish filmmaker, not the American actor) has an approach to this rich topic that is repetitive and simplistic, as if he wasn't quite sure how to fill out even a brief feature.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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