Sunday, 6 February 2011

Facing Our Future

Into Eternity touts itself as a film for ther future and it's this aspect that works and irks in equal measure. The documentary concerns the humongous subterranean nuclear waste facility being built in Finland called Onkalo. As the radioactivity willl last approx 100,000yrs the engineers and designers must plan for the seriously long term and the discussions and considerations are fascinating - if only all public policy was as thoughtful. Sadly the director intends to entomb the film on site and asks most of the participants to film a message in case it's discovered which was a little cheesy to say the least and Madsen's pieces to camera, filmed by match light, a little over dramatic. None the less it's a excellent film that illuminates a terrible problem for the proponents of nuclear energy.

The schooling of our children has provided fertile ground for documentarians but Waiting for Superman is certainly one of the most powerful I've seen. A devastating critique of the American school system it lays out the terrible facts of illiteracy and innumeracy in the world's "greatest" country and the turgid bureaucracy & unions that hinder improvement. The facts are bolstered with the heartbreaking stories of three families as their kids progress towards the lottery for places at the best schools in their area. Maybe it's effectiveness is down to our inexorable educational decline but this excellent film ably demonstrates the serious consequences for society when we don't embiggen the minds of the young.

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