Film Near and Elsewhere is a meditation on utopias. Staying within the frame of our time mentality becomes less a glowing vision of possible future paradises than a critical and concerned overview of a dangerous level of ideological confusion. The directors Sue-Alice Okukubo og Eduard Zorzenoni makes a credible diagnosis for our troubled era by gathering an impressive group of thinkers – from the Nobel Prize-winning Belarusian novelist and oral storyteller Svetlana Aleksijevich to the German futurist Matthias Horx.
They all seem to agree on the reasons: a globalized planet linked by complicated technology that blind faith in the market's invisible hand has brought to a breaking point.
The notion of utopia as a seductive but reductive escape from reality is a fundamental nerve in the film. Italian sociology professor Elena Esposito points out that these utopian visions are not necessarily about the future, but about how we deal with the uncertainty of the present.
The concept of "money" serves as an assurance that we will be able to satisfy needs that are not yet defined when we commercialize parts of our existence through systems such as "ownership of our own home" in the hope of gaining greater freedom and security. But even as we invest in such performances, technological developments have created a large number of variables and made it difficult to predict the results.
As Horx elaborates, the human brain is not yet sufficiently developed from its more primitive functions on the savannah and is thus unable to handle such networking. . .
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