New Town Utopia


New Town Utopia (2018)



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Movie Info

New Town Utopia is a feature documentary film about utopian dreams and concrete realities... the challenging, funny, and sometimes tragic story of the British new town of Basildon, Essex. A journey of memory, place and performance guided by the artists, musicians and poets of Basildon. Facing austerity, adversity and personal battles they are individuals driven by their creative spirit to improve their community through art, poetry, music... and some rather angry puppets.


Jim Broadbent
as The voice of Lewis Silkin

Critic Reviews for New Town Utopia

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

Here is an absorbing and heartening documentary portrait of Basildon in Essex, conceived as a super-modern utopian development for the forelock-tugging working classes after the second world war.

May 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's a fascinating portrait of the rise and fall of a community and a movement.

Nov 8, 2018 | Full Review…

It is an honest, hopeful examination of the history and potential future of the places we choose to call home.

Aug 24, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

As with Kate McCullough's exemplary gliding camerawork for The Quiet Architect, [director Christopher Ian] Smith uses graceful Steadicam and elegant composition to find beauty in brutalist forms.

Jun 18, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This thoughtful documentary examines the dreams of British post-war town planners through the story of Basildon in Essex, a town so perfectly designed that they did not bother with a train station.

May 5, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Unlikely though that sounds, it leaves a rich impression: New Town Utopia is an intelligent, poignant and delicately ambiguous portrait of a place routinely dismissed as a provincial backwater.

May 4, 2018 | Full Review…

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