The Making of Utopia

The Making of Utopia portrays four intentional communities in Australia: Bodhi Farm, Dharmananda, Equilibrium and Moora Moora. The film consists on interviews and fictional narratives, which reflect on the challenges the communities have faced when ideals and the daily life reality have met.

Tellervo and Oliver sent an open letter to the communities in Australia inviting them to join a workshop and write a fiction film about themselves. The main questions posed to the communities were related to the ongoing conflict between utopian vision and communal reality. The workshops resulted in 4 short fiction films written and acted by community members. In several interviews the participants commented on the films that came up in each community.

Australia has a long history of utopian communities dating back into the 19th century. A large number of communities were established in the aftermath of the Aquarius festival – the Australian version of Woodstock – held in the rural area of Nimbin in 1973. Some of the festival-goers stayed in the area turning land-sharing fantasies into reality. While most of the post-Aquarius communities have disintegrated, the participants of “The making of Utopia” have managed to sustain a communal lifestyle for over 30 years and became role-models for similar experiments. The only exception is Equilibrium Inc. – a group of people just in the planning stage for setting up an intentional community near Sydney.