"Masterpiece." - Craig Baldwin
WASTELAND UTOPIAS explores the intersection of two radically different utopian thinkers: mega-developer Del Webb and outsider psychiatrist/naturalist Wilhelm Reich. Each found his way into southern Arizona's Sonoran Desert in the late 1950s. Webb built his colossal, panoptically-planned retirement community Sun City in the desert and Reich conducted his weather manipulation experiments using Orgone Energy there as well. This unlikely pairing provokes a hallucinatory, magic-conceptualist examination of the disintegrating fabric that connects man with nature, evoking questions about both ecological and social sustainability. Using found footage, documentary interviews and narrative tableaux, the film interweaves contradictory narratives and critically poetic observations. By juxtaposing these two thinkers who represent ostensibly opposing visions of a still-undefined future, director David Sherman asks viewers to consider a multiplicity of perspectives on our endangered natural and social environments.
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A lot like being in class. A very surreal, abstract and somewhat programmative educational documentary. It will take me a second view to decide if I believe the concept of character armor as a valid one or if this is yet another tin foil hat on display.