Close Up

18 November 2017: Utopia


Sohrab Shahid Saless
1982 | 198 min | Colour | 35mm
Dario Marchiori & Nikolaus Perneczky in conversation

This magisterial chamber play is the dark heart of Shahid Saless’ German period. Set in an empty, closed-curtain bordello in West Berlin, Utopia posits prostitution as the truth of the then nascent service economy. Ruled by their brutal pimp, the women are trapped inside a claustrophobic tomb of eternally recurring humiliations – a thinly veiled microcosm of German society, just after chancellor Kohl had announced his neoliberal agenda of ‘spiritual- moral renewal’. A visceral metaphor for the political climate of the early 1980s.

Part of Sohrab Shahid Saless: Exiles