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Under Control

Archaeology of nuclear energy.

a film by Volker Sattel

The film starts with a promise. Something glows, vibrates for a moment, builds structures of beauty – a “light”, that our eye cannot see, the wild heart of a technology, which circulates around the term “control” since its inception.

If, as Volker Sattel, the sliding ride decreases the review again and again – scanning the things, buildings and equipment that can be gathered under the term “nuclear energy” –visible in the center of our present an utopian project that needs no words.

Gazing the unfinished monument of a glorious future that is fascinating till today, in spite of its cracks and dangerous contradictions. Under control bears in mind how big the effort is, this science fiction which means: "peaceful" use of nuclear energy, to reconcile with reality.

The film explains this world in small doses, providing insight into the secretive life behind the walls of German nuclear plants. We see glistening bright control centers, Decontamination doors, fog machines, to enter the depth of the deposits to experience the power of superhuman rationality that suppose to keep the power of the smallest parts under control.

Not coincidentally the architecture and the props are reminding of a space flight on earth. Even in this world mistakes are "forbidden". But as we are already having trouble to accept the idea of a journey over decades, the half-live periods of radiant substances burst our bonds of imagination.

At the end reamins the sensation of futility. It almost seems as if we have disappointed the nuclear power, not the other way around. The miracle of this technology is waiting patiently for a new human being that is more rational – and not afraid of eternity.

Technical Details

documentary, 98 min, 35mm 2-Perf., colour, Dolby Digital,
1: 2,40, 25 fps
© 2011 credofilm in coproduction with WDR, ARTE supported by Kuratorium Junger deutscher Film, Gerd-Ruge-Stipendium, Filmstiftung NRW, DFFF

Distribution: Farbfilm
(in collaboration with arsenal institut für film und videokunst)
World Sales: Journeyman Pictures
Theatrical release Germany: 26th of May 2011


Idea and Director
together with
Volker Sattel
Stefan Stefanescu
DOP Volker Sattel
Sound Nikolaus Woernle
Filipp Forberg
Editor Stephan Krumbiegel
Executive Producer Dorothea Seeger
Fabian Pöhlmann
Editors Jutta Krug (WDR)
Sabine Rollberg (ARTE)
Producer Susann Schimk
Jörg Trentmann

Download German press kit on www.farbfilm-verleih.de
Download Presseheft Englisch (PDF, 1,25MB)