Lights, Camera, Utopia

Yesterday was the first full day of the Utopia Film Festival, Greenbelt's own little movie extravaganza showcasing work supporting, reflecting and digging into various utopian ideals. There is some fiction, but we're mostly hitting the documentaries. Movies are shown in the Greenbelt Theatre, the mall theaters, and the city council chambers. We attended three screenings yesterday, one in each venue. At two of the films, participants in the film were there for a question and answer session. I especially liked the couple who had lived in the New York cooperative featured in At Home In Utopia. During the questioning, it became apparent that there were two other people in the audience who had lived in the same coops. It was a fascinating discussion.

The lead scientist from the film Blast! answered questions after the movie, but sadly there were only nine people in the audience. It was a nice little film about scientists trying to launch a telescope by balloon into the upper atmosphere, first in Sweden and then in Antarctica. I think he was disappointed in the turnout.

We also saw the story of a banjo player traveling in Africa to find the "roots of banjo music." He said that banjos are descended from an African instrument, but I thought the finger pianos were the most interesting (and pleasant) sounds from the film.

There are still films to see today. There's a schedule on the website. I wish it did a better job telling you which screenings would have participants available. It's really not a bad deal for $5 per screening set (some of the short films are scheduled in clumps).

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