Feeling desperate about climate change, filmmaker Erlend, opera singer Ingeborg and their children leave their farm to join an ecological experiment: Project Permatopia. The goal is to become fully self-sufficient. But the reality is much more difficult – bordering on disastrous. Will they give up?
‘This may be the last film I do before the world ends’, Norwegian filmmaker Erlend Mo says at the beginning of Journey to Utopia. Erlend and his wife Ingeborg worry about climate change. Feeling ‘an escalating need to do something about it’, they sign up for Project Permatopia in Denmark: a community of like-minded people who dream of becoming self-sufficient.
When they arrive, doubt sets in very soon. Their new house has yet to be built, and the project’s finances are hitting obstacles. Their teenage daughter Aslaug’s heart is not into it – to put it mildly. The group pressures are big, especially for an individualist like Erlend, and the house provides hardly any privacy. When the project’s financial costs are rising out of control, feelings of desperation creep in. Family life is coming under strain, but an unexpected wake-up call is waiting.