Weekend 20th-22nd May – UK GREEN FILM FESTIVAL

19 May

Into Eternity (2010), dir. Michael Madsen


PASSENGERFILMS is going green… literally. We just bought some green body paints for our eco-horror party on Friday night.

The first ever UK Green Film Festival is launching this Friday, and PASSENGERFILMS is one of the team running it all in London (other venues are in Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester and Glasgow). This is a not-for-profit festival engaging with environmental themes, with full details on the website here.

We thought we might give you a heads up of some of our personal highlights from everything which will be going on at Shortwave Cinema this weekend, and the tie-in events taking place outside in Bermondsey Square. On Saturday the Bermondsey Farmers’ Market will be joined from 10am till 4pm by Mediterranean fine food stalls, puppet making by the Southwark Green Party, and honey stalls and a real live bee hive brought by the London Beekeepers’ Association. After the Vanishing of the Bees screening there will be a Q&A with Alison Benjamin from Urban Bees, who’s also the deputy editor of Society Guardian. She’ll be signing copies of her books, A World Without Bees, Keeping Bees, and Making Honey in the Woolfson & Tay bookshop across the square and will also have small honey jars for tasting.

On Sunday, Southwark Cyclists will be running a bike ride starting at 9am at the cinema, stopping for lunch, and returning in time for the screening of Breaking Away at 3pm, probably the best film about cycling counter-culture. Details of the bike ride here. The film will also be introduced by Jenny Jones of the Southwark Green Party, talking about cycling politics and developments, fresh from her appearance on The Bike Show.

End of the Line (2007), dir. Maurice Devereaux

Our two must-see films (apart from Friday’s Triffids party) are Into Eternity at 10.15pm on Saturday and Wasteland at 8pm on Sunday.

INTO ETERNITY: ‘Finland’s Onkalo waste repository – the subject of Danish director Michael Madsen’s documentary, Into Eternity – is an underground network of tunnels intended to store 1% of the world’s nuclear waste. The construction will take a century to complete, and is intended to last for one hundred thousand years—the approximate half-life of radioactive isotopes in high level nuclear waste. As it is likely that the ways humans communicate will change drastically before the tunnels are safe, the engineers of Onkalo have been faced with the question of how to warn future generations about the dangerous waste concealed below. Foreboding symbols, “Rosetta Stones” containing warning messages in all of the world’s languages, an image of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, even legislative measures obliging future generations to “remember to forget” the existence of Onkalo have all been considered as viable options. And, as even the research scientists behind Onkalo have conceded the futility of scientific inquiry in this particular area, Madsen’s film pursues a more epistemological discussion of Onkalo: of the Finnish government’s plans to “remember to forget,” and of the idea of shaping mythology, of planning into eternity.’

WASTELAND: ‘(T)his is undoubtedly a bold raid into an unknown territory – both geographic and conceptual – that the prosperous classes prefer not to think about. When we throw out rubbish, it is easy to assume that it somehow vanishes. In fact, of course, it largely goes to landfill sites such as Jardim Gramacho in Rio De Janeiro: the world’s biggest dump, a huge, undulating, foul-smelling, seagull-covered landscape of garbage which is home to about 3,000 people.’

The Shortwave programme in a nutshell is below – remember this festival is volunteer run and the first of its kind, and for an excellent cause, so do come along and join the cinematic greenery!

Friday 20 May

15:00 The Plan. Directors, Michael Stenberg and David Osterberg

17:30 Plastic Planet. Director Werner Boote

20:00 PlanEat. Directors, Shelley Lee Davis and Or Shlomi

22:30 The Day of the Triffids. Director, Steve Sekely

Saturday 21 May

11:00 Wall:E. Director, Andrew Stanton

15:00 Vanishing of the Bees. Director, George Langworthy

17:30 End of the Line. Director Rupert Murray

20:00 The Pipe. Director Richie O’Donnel

22.15 Into Eternity. Director Michael Madsen

Sunday 22 May

15:00 Breaking Away. Director, Peter Yates

17:30 Gasland. Director, Josh Fox

20:00 Wasteland. Directors, Lucy Walker, Karen Harley and Joao Jardim

Waste Land (2010), dir. Lucy Walker


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