Emilija Škarnulytė’s documentary, Burial, takes us on a mesmerizing journey through the mysterious world of geological excavation and speculative realism. The film seamlessly shifts between the microscopic and the macroscopic, beginning with a 3D visualization of uranium ore and transitioning to X-ray-like images of radioactive household objects.

  • The documentary delves into the remains of a 1950s uranium mine in Poland, offering a glimpse into the secretive operations under the Soviet Union. The haunting imagery of a water python slithering through the wreckage serves as a powerful symbol of the exploitation of natural resources.
  • Škarnulytė’s film leads us to the Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania, a plant similar to Chernobyl, highlighting its decommissioning process and the monumental waste it produced. The hope for the processing of this waste at a research facility in Meuse, France, adds another layer of complexity to the narrative.
  • Amidst the high-tech settings, the documentary presents surreal elements, as the water python makes a striking appearance at the Ignalina plant, coiling around the station’s switchboards. The film weaves together the beauty of lush forests, the ominous mushroom clouds of nuclear tests, and the mesmerizing sight of a snake shedding its skin, raising questions about rebirth and transformation.

Burial offers a thought-provoking exploration of the lingering political influence of the Soviet Union and concludes with a message of support for Ukraine. The documentary will be available from January 5th on True Story.