The First Encounter

More than half a year has passed since I had my first contact with Bruce, the email I had received in reply to mine. And since then we have been in touch in this way until I managed to get some development funding and to actually come to Canada,  I was also invited to HotDocs to participate in a development workshop two months ago- after which i got into a car and drove north. I remember the mixed feelings I had, the bizarreness of the landscape, very flat, roads straight into the horizon, everything so clean, the lawn neatly mowed everywhere, even out in the countryside. Driving into David Lynch territory – what was to come? Who was I to encounter?


The village was small, no shop, no bar, two churches though. I found Bruce’s house immediately. When I approached the front door there was a dog barking on the other side of the mosquito net. I knocked and after a while an elderly lady opened for me. Jean – Bruce’s wife.


In the moment I saw her I knew it would be good, she radiated some tender warmth that makes anyone feel welcome and safe. And then I met Bruce for the first time, what a character.

On the Roof


When you think of a man who buried 42 school-busses underneath 3 meter of concrete in his village in order to build the biggest self-made nuclear shelter in the world, lots of things will come to your head – survivalist, paranoiac, nutcase, whatever – but if you dare to look deeper underneath these stereotypes you will discover a world of creative energy – at least in Bruce’s case, where every problem will find an adequate and most likely unusual solution. Turning school-busses into a shelter is one good example. There are many theories of “the end of the world” – from 2012 to ecological desaster, asteroids, collapse of society or nuclear war. Bruce thinks that nuclear war is inevitable, and it is imminent.

If he is right, my film will not be shot, in fact no film will be shot for quite a long time, but if he is wrong – and I knock on wood – then we will shoot “The Ark Experiment” next year, and we are still looking for volunteers – “The 100 Survivors” to go down into the shelter and pre-enact “the end of the world” with us. So if you are interested, please do get in touch.

More soon.


2 Responses to “The First Encounter”

  1. Two volunteers!!!! From Colombia and México!

    • thearkexperiment Says:

      Hi there,

      Fantastic! Welcome on board!

      Could you send us an email to with some words about you? We can then send you some more information and put you o to our “volunteers” email list.

      Looking forward to hearing from you!

      All the best,

      Sepp & Anabel

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