In this probing, sensitive film, Erlend Mo documents his family’s leap towards sustainable living. The project they embrace is a commune called Permatopia, and joining it involves a move from the Mo’s native Norway to Denmark, as well as many other challenges. Shoddy construction, logistical errors and financial troubles imperil the commune from the get-go, and Journey to Utopia is, in large part, about the family’s agonizing dilemma: Should they stay or should they go?
As obstacles mount and doubts accumulate, viewers are invited not just to empathize, but to weigh the options themselves. How much sacrifice is sustainable living worth, especially when the goal seems so hard to reach? For Erlend, his wife Ingeborg, and their children, the question touches every aspect of life, and the film builds in power as they move toward their decision. Erlend makes for a fascinating narrator, and his depiction of his family, his new home and his internal disquiet is honest and touching.
Erlend E. Mo
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.
Born in Norway, 1967, Erlend E. Mo studied literature and Scandinavian languages at Oslo University and film and TV at Volda University College. His award winning short documentaries include Welcome to Denmark (2003); Can You Die in Heaven?’ (2005); and My Eyes (2006). Paradis (2008) is a feature-length documentary co-directed with Sarni Saif and Jens Loftager. Four Letters Apart - Children in the Age of ADHD (2013) was selected for CPH:DOX, Goteborg and Hot Docs.
Photo: ©Christian Geisnæs
Paradise (2008); Four Letters Apart - Children in the Age of ADHD (2013); Sport Kids (2015)