Berlinale Forum 2011 – Unter Kontrolle

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Unter Kontrolle / Under Control
Germany, 2011, 98 min
Director: Volker Sattel
Section: Forum

“A tour of different places related to the nuclear industry in Germany and Austria: active and disused nuclear power stations, training facilities, the International Atomic Energy Agency, an institute for risk research, the Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology, a permanent repository for radioactive waste, as well as research centers. Images that are a cross between science fiction and an industrial film. Carefully composed and framed in Cinemascope.”

What are we seeing? Neurons, radioactive tracings. A uranium fuel rod. The control room.

What are we hearing? The hum of electricity.

Admitted to workplaces and meetings, we see men committed to ensuring that nothing happens. These places are overwhelmingly male. Cheesy girly calendars are everywhere.

An industry abandoned. What to do with unused plants. An amusement park in an abandoned plant. A scary twirling ride inside a cooling tower.

“In the water basin of a research reactor, our gaze falls on a magic light that veils a fuel rod downright mystically. The bluish glow penetrates even solid matter. Physicists call this phenomenon the ‘Cherenkov effect.’ Unleashed by the splitting atoms, hidden with this uncanny illumination is extremely intense radioactivity.”

Read the Forum essay. Visit the film website.