Released: 1980

Runtime: 25 mins

Until I’d seen this fascinating DVD, I was unaware of how much footage was taken post-eruption of Mount St Helens. This half-hour DVD is an IMax production narrated by Robert Foxwell is a strange one. The huge eruption is shown in a montage of photos and the rest of the documentary is typically swooping in its IMax shots. It’s main goal is to show the widespread geological damage and it works. From dusty towns to miles and miles or blasted and burnt landscapes to flood waters from the melted snow – each problem is briefly touched upon. Its climax is showing a glimpse of the throat of the volcano between its second and third eruptions and showing the opening explosion of a volcanic eruption later on. There’s something very hypnotic and shuddering about the way how the footage is shot because it is so detailed but also completely digital-free and softened. It makes it so very real and all the more frightening to observe.

Yes, the documentary is very short but it is informative, slightly eerie and fascinating to watch with its slightly artsy narration. If you’re looking for something a bit more scientific about post St Helens effects – there are some great PBS documentaries on YouTube. If you see this DVD cheaply you’d do well to pick it up – you may find it interesting.

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