Jan 9, 10 pm


About the Film

How can we contain some of the deadliest, most long-lasting substances ever produced? Toxic remnants from the Cold War remain in millions of gallons of highly radioactive sludge, thousands of acres of radioactive land, tens of thousands of unused hot buildings, and  some slowly spreading deltas of contaminated groundwater. Governments around the world, desperate to protect future generations, have begun imagining society 10,000 years from now in order to create warning monuments that will speak across time to mark waste repositories.

Containment moves from a nuclear weapon facility in South Carolina where toxic swamps have led to radioactive animals, to a deep underground burial site in New Mexico, to Fukushima, Japan, where a triple meltdown occurred after the cooling systems at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were interrupted, leaving that city a ghost town. The film is part graphic novel and part observational essay mixed with sci-fi that is more science than fiction, weaving between an uneasy present and an imaginative, troubled distant future, exploring the struggle to keep waste confined over millennia. MORE

About the Filmmakers

Containment is the second film directed by Peter Galison and Robb Moss. The two also directed Secrecy (2008), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and showed at Tribeca, SxSW and other film festivals around the world. Examining the relationship between government secrecy, national security and democracy, Secrecy was reviewed in more than 20 newspapers, including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and was screened by both the Congressional Record and the ACLU.

Peter Galison is a Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University. Galison’s previous film on the moral-political debates over the H-bomb, Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma (with Pamela Hogan, 2002) has been shown frequently on the History Channel. In 1997, he was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and won a 1998 Pfizer Award for Image and Logic as the best book that year in the History of Science. His books include How Experiments End, Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps, and Objectivity (with L. Daston). He has worked extensively with de-classified material in his studies of physics in the Cold War. Galison’s work also features artistic collaborations, including partnering with South African artist William Kentridge on a multi-screen installation, “The Refusal of Time.”

Robb Moss is a filmmaker, professor, and chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. Moss’s The Same River Twice (2003) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for a 2004 Independent Spirit Award and opened theatrically at Film Forum in New York City. Winning prizes in Nashville, Chicago, New England, and Alabama film festivals, Same River Twice was selected by the Chicago Reader as Best Documentary of 2003. His autobiographical and essay films, such as The Tourist and Riverdogs, have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Telluride Film Festival and IDFA. He has served as a festival juror at Sundance, San Francisco, Denver, Full Frame, Camden, Seattle, Chicago, New England, and Ann Arbor, and works as a creative advisor at the Sundance Documentary labs. LESS

Film Credits

Directed and Produced by
Peter Galison & Robb Moss

Chyld King

Producer: Japan
Kendra Gahagan

Field Producer: United States
Tamara Rosenberg

Field Producer: Japan
Jeffrey Jousan

Associate Producers
Kendra Gahagan
Jeanne Haffner

Chyld King

Peter Kuper
David Lobser

Mike Einziger
Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans

Hervé Cohen
Tim Cragg
Austin DeBesche
Leonard Retel Helmrich
Stephen McCarthy

Production Assistance

Alex Morelli
Taka Shirahama

Voice of Government Documents
Emily Dolan

Archival Research
Kendra Gahagan
Jeanne Haffner
Rich Remsberg

Animated Cartography
Robert Gerard Pietrusko with Grga Basic and Christopher Bennett

Additional Animation
Ben Berman

Additional Cinematography
Jeffrey Cooke
Jennifer Cox
Chris Dapkins
Allison Humenuk
Rob Massey

Supervising Sound Editor / Re-Recording Mixer
Coll Anderson

Sound Designer / Sound Effects Editor
Matthew Snedecor

Dialogue Editor
Duncan Clark

Sound Recordists
Mario Cardenas
Frank Coakley
Kristoffer Hamilton
Pulse Media
Alex Raguini
Paul Rusnak

Editorial Assistance
Greg Gagnon
Lucy Lindsey
Pacho Velez

Advisors: Japan
Ted Bestor
Shinju Fujihira
Ted Gilman
Andrew Gordon
Ryo Morimoto

Christopher Bavitz
Shane Anderson
Sarah Gersten
Beatrice Igne-Bianchi
Rachel Moss
Ajay Sundar
Dalia Topelson
Emily Zheshu Xiao
The Cyberlaw Clinic

Peter Broderick

Post Finishing Consultant

Eric Masunaga

Color Correction
Josh Foisey
Erich Gilbride

Additional Visual Effects Work
Colby Peterson

Sundance Institute Documentary Edit Lab Advisors
Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
Joelle Alexis
Jon Else
Lewis Erskine
Mary Lampson
Jesse Moss
Jonathan Oppenheim

Rick Carter
Hillary Chute
William Cronon
Arnold I. Davidson
Joseph Masco
Martha Minow
Gregg Mitman
Robert Proctor
Shigehisa Kuriyama
Pamela Hogan
William H. Press

Archival Sources
Albuquerque Media Monitoring
Aneyoshi Marker
AP Images
Alex Bushe
Gregory Bull
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Corbis Images
The Estate of Michael Brill
Frank Drake
Getty Images
Hagley Museum and Library
Yoshihiro Ide
Japanese Red Cross Society
KOB Eyewitness News 4
Kyodo News
Landov Media
Jon Lomberg
Matthew T. Mullane
National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA)
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA)
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental
Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant
AnnaLee Pauls
Princeton University Library
Tokyo Electric Power Company
United States Department of Energy
Voyager Golden Record
Xcel Energy


“Rocket to the Sun”
“Should I?”
“Nickey Nuke”
Written and Performed by Mike Einziger
Courtesy of Mike Einziger

“Impossible Love”
“Part 2”
“First Avenue”
Written and Performed by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans
Published by Benzo Music (ASCAP) and Mago Secreto (SESAC)
Courtesy of Stenfert Charles LLC

“Pluto Twiddle”
Composed and Performed by Tristeza

“Abrazo Distante”
Written by James Lehner
Performed by Tristeza
Courtesy of Better Looking Records

Special Thanks
Alexandra Anthony
Alice Apley
Joni Arends
Steve Ascher
Sabra Brown
Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Sam Galison
Sam Green
Janet Greenwald
Alfred Guzzetti
Kyle Henry
Caroline A. Jones
Jeanne Jordan
Krista Lester
Kevin Martin
Ross McElwee
Cara Mertes
Jillian Nyitray
Joshua Oppenheimer
Mary Park
Kazuko Sakaguchi
Sue Weidemann
Alex Wellerstein
The Savannah River Site
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

Fiscal Sponsors
Center for Independent Documentary
Documentary Educational Resources

Funding Provided By
National Science Foundation
National Endowment for the Humanities
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
LEF Foundation
The Charles H. Revson Foundation
American Council of Learned Societies
William F. Milton Fund
Soroush Shehabi
Tiffany Schauer

This film was produced by Redacted Pictures, LLC, which is solely responsible for its content.
© 2015 Redacted Pictures, LLC. All rights reserved.

Are we as a society doing enough in the present to think about the future? Do you have faith in mankind and science to solve the issue of nuclear waste? What are your own predictions for the future, and are there any sci-fi films that accurately capture how you think it will be?


  • Cine'Eco Environmental Film Festival
    Grand Jury Prize
Please review our comment guidelines.
Are we as a society doing enough in the present to think about the future? Do you have faith in mankind and science to solve the issue of nuclear waste? What are your own predictions for the future, and are there any sci-fi films that accurately capture how you think it will be?