Under Control (Unter kontrolle)
This mesmerising highlight of the 2011 Berlinale came into stark relief when the events following the Japanese earthquake emerged one month later.
Volker Sattel's deft cinematic examination of the German and Austrian nuclear industry positions the viewer firmly in the driver's seat. Sattel wanders through these vast industrial monoliths like a phantom, observing workers' daily routines and stalking the halls of disused plants, training facilities and the eerie underground caves that act as depositaries for spent fuel.
The soft hum of machinery and the distant echoes of the towns in which the plants exist is married with magnificent 35mm images of the structures that stand either as a testament to incredible scientific achievement or as a horrendous vision of modernity - depending on your perspective.
"If the China Syndrome
had been directed by Frederick Wiseman, it might have looked a little like this" - New York Times
"A film of significant aesthetic and informational achievement" - Vancouver International Film Festival
"Volker Sattel confounds those on both sides of the nuclear-power debate with his monumental film" - Variety