A New Must-Watch Documentary: “Zeit für Utopien” (Time for Utopian Ideas)

What would our world look like if it was based more on cooperation and less on competition? This new documentary portrays initiatives from all over the world: the green, post-growth avantgarde.

A must-watch, beautiful documentary for all those unhappy with the current state of unsustainable affairs across all big industries – food, finance, consumer goods.

Documentary Review:
Zeit für Utopien (Austria, 2017)

ZEIT FÜR UTOPIEN by Kurt Langbein portrays the successes and the efforts of some truly outstanding projects and initiatives, seeking the answer to one vital question:
What is our post-capitalist, post-growth reality going to look like?

Viewers will meet, among others:

Hansalim, a Korean community-supported agriculture cooperative that succeeds in bringing reagional, sustainable food to 1.5 million people since 1986;
Scop Ti, a French tea factory near Marseille, whose workers claimed the facility from Unilever by taking the site hostage for 1336 days, winning, and who run the production independently since, returning to naturally scented and organic teas and supporting small-scale and local producers;
Fairphone, a Dutch social enterprise that works on establishing fairer and healthier standards in mining and tech production;
Kalkbreite, a sustainable cooperative in Zurich that beautifully redefines urban living with co-op and sustainability practices.

Still from Zeit für Utopien: Niko Paech, post-growth economist who never boarded a plane Still from Zeit für Utopien: Hansalim, sustainable fishery Still from Zeit für Utopien: Mining in the DRC Still from Zeit für Utopien: Laura Gerritsen, Fairphone Scop Ti lime blossom harvest - still from Zeit fuer Utopien by Kurt Langbein, Austria 2017

Some projects are estabished, others explore newer fields. For example, the Hansalim cooperative has been running successfully for decades, while Fairphone spearheads cleaner, fairer tech since 2013 as well as modular smartphones since the launch of the Fairphone 2 in 2016 – a process that can’t happen overnight. Viewers get so see the processes up close by following Petra Wähning (Genussgemeinschaft Städter und Bauern e.V., a Bavarian co-op bringing together farmers with their city-based customers without the middlemen) and Laura Gerritsen (Fairphone) to Korea and to the mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo respectively. Economics experts give viewers a scoop on the urgency of a more utopian behaviour rooted in collaboration, fairness, simplicity, and respect for each other and the planet.

Even though the documentary strikes all the optimistic chords, the sense of the lingering doom remains silently present. The title, “time for utopias”, or utopian ideas, can be read as a highly positive claim.
Or it can be read as a warning: Utopia now. Or dystopia tomorrow.

More info and cinema finder for ZEIT FÜR UTOPIEN:

Further info:
Hansalim | Scop Ti | Fairphone | Kalkbreite | Langbein & Partner Media

Photo credits: photography C. Roth, © Langbein & Partner Media.