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Utopians

Zbigniew Bzymek
USA 2011 / 84’

The main characters’ navigate complex relationships in an intimate journey in search of inner peace through yoga, with schizophrenia lurking in the background. Roger, a yoga teacher, Zoe, his daughter, has just returned from the army, and Maya, her girlfriend, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The trio of outsiders seek to find common intimacy, communication and understanding.

Loosely related scenes show the multidimensional characters and their convention-defying relationships. Director Zbigniew Bzymek rejects chronology and classic narrative, opting instead to explore emotional and spiritual landscapes, blurring the boundaries between reality and reverie. The film frequently floats towards abstraction, immersing characters in empty, unreal spaces, enigmatic allusions and minimalist gestures, to an improvised guitar soundtrack strongly resembling that in the film Dead Man. The world of Utopians has unclear and constantly metamorphosing contours, and viewers’ connections with the characters resemble their on-screen mutual relationships – difficult, though worthwhile in search of utopia.

Zbigniew Bzymek

Born in 1976 in Warsaw, Bzymek studied at the Łódź Film School and Bowdoin College in Maine. He directed several shorts, such as Passivity (Bierność), which screened at the first Polish LGBT Polish film festival, Subwersja in 2007, and Suddenly Forever (Nagle na zawsze), for which he received the Grand Prix du jury at the Festival Rencontres Internationales Henri Langlois in Poitiers in 2008. As an author, he worked with theatre director Krystian Lupa and Elizabeth LeCompte. He is an associate artist at the New York Wooster Group with which he produced the space vampire opera, La Didone. Utopians is his feature film debut.

Selected filmography

2002 Bierność / Passivity (short)

2003 W hotelu „Syrena” / In Hotel ‘Syren’ (doc., short)

2004 Taki jak ja / Just Like Me (doc., short)

2008 Nagle na zawsze / Suddenly Forever (short)

2011 Utopians

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Cast & Crew

director Zbigniew Bzymek
screenplay Zbigniew Bzymek
cinematography Robert Mleczko
editing Kevin Palmer
music Harvey Valdes
cast Jim Fletcher, Courtney Webster, Lauren Hind, Arthur French
producer Daniel Grossman, Courtney Webster, Lauren Hind, Zbigniew Bzymek, Kevin Palmer, Talia Barrett
production Made-Up Language
sales Made-Up Language
language English
colouration colour