RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “INTO ETERNITY” Mouka Films, Director MICHAEL MADSEN, Producer LISE LENSE-MOLLER (2009, 75 min)
WHEN: Sunday September 18th 2pm
WHERE: Community Church NYC Gallery Room, 28 East 35th st. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free; donations appreciated
SPECIAL GUEST: Kathleen Sullivan –Program Director Hibakusha Stories http://www.hibakushastories.org/
PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO A MEMORIAL SERVICE BEING HELD IN THE ASSEMBLY HALL AT 1PM
OUR STARTING TIME WILL BE AT 2PM.
We wish a hearty welcome back to everyone and hope you all had a great summer vacation. Resistance Cinema opens its Fall season with one of the more unusual films to come along in a while. While the subject is a problem that requires the most advanced level of human scientific and technological sophistication, the filmmaker has crafted a haunting elegiac tone poem to penetrate its deeper meanings and consequences for humanity.
Nuclear energy cannot be produced without also producing high-level radioactive waste that will be toxic for 100,000 years. Every day the world over, large amounts of this waste are placed in temporary interim storages, which are vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. Existing storage systems require a power supply that won't last nearly long enough. The world above ground is unstable: there have been two world wars in the last century, so a permanent solution needs to be found.
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 long as the waste remains hazardous. It’s called Onkalo or “hiding place”. 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? This artful, sober-minded documentary is assembled as a message to the next generations: "We have buried something to protect you. Don't go in here."
The film covers the reason why nuclear waste exists and why it has to be disposed properly. If it spills into nature, it would create areas that were uninhabitable. The biggest fear for Onkalo is human intrusion. Would future generations interpret it as a burial ground or maybe a treasure? We can't predict the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand. So how do we communicate to civilizations we can't imagine. Language and even alphabets are useless. Others argue that Onkalo should just be forgotten, because leaving a marker risks inciting curiosity. As this is so far beyond our imagination, it can't help but spark our ingenuity.
How do we prevent future generations 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.
There's really only one point to make, but it's a mind-boggling one. Is it possible to isolate a place from humans (or any others) for this long? Think about it: the Egyptian pyramids were sealed just a few thousand years ago, never to be opened again. We know how that worked. And yet we still can't read some of their messages.
KATHLEEN SULLIVAN, PhD., is a disarmament educator and activist who has been engaged in the nuclear issue for over 20 years. Currently, she is the Program Director for Hibakusha Stories, an arts based initiative that brings hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) into New York City High Schools to share their testimonies. She has been education consultant to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in New York, and has produced 2 films about nuclear disarmament: The Last Atomic Bomb (2005) and The Ultimate Wish (forthcoming).