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Utopia (1983)

A treatise on love and desire tainted by harsh reality of capitalism, in which submission to the laws of lust-as-commerce is played out by five prostitutes and their pimp, who pits them ... See full summary »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Manfred Zapatka ... Heinz
Imke Barnstedt Imke Barnstedt ... Renate
Gundula Petrovska Gundula Petrovska ... Rosi
Gabriele Fischer Gabriele Fischer ... Susi
Johanna Sophia Johanna Sophia ... Helga
Birgit Anders Birgit Anders ... Monika
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bernhard Adami Bernhard Adami
Barbara Beutler Barbara Beutler
Johanna Ebert Johanna Ebert
Fritz Ewert Fritz Ewert
Johanna Gerhard Johanna Gerhard
Hans-Joachim Grubel Hans-Joachim Grubel
Andreas Hanft Andreas Hanft
Albert Heins Albert Heins
Irma Jagow Irma Jagow


A treatise on love and desire tainted by harsh reality of capitalism, in which submission to the laws of lust-as-commerce is played out by five prostitutes and their pimp, who pits them against one another so that they are incapable of standing up to him collectively.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






West Germany



Release Date:

20 May 1983 (West Germany) See more »

Filming Locations:

West Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Amazing film.
30 January 2014 | by souvikmeetszeusSee all my reviews

My first film by the Iranian great, this is one of his works after he shifted to German language. And its a harrowing film. It is more than 3 hours long and for its entire duration it is a devastating, bleak, crushing movie. No wonder this has been compared to Salo, but there is no physical violence here. The story is about a brothel run by a ruthless, cruel and disturbed Manfred Zapatka and the five girls under him who have nowhere to go, who work with him sacrificing themselves every day just for a distant future, that too getting increasingly lost by the day. It lacks the physical force of Salo but its depressing mood will get to any viewer. And the thing is the movie doesn't sag for even a minute, there is always an unseen tension hovering in the air. Manfred Zapatka's powerful, controlled and sculpted-in-stone performance is the only reason behind that. Saless' technique is very Fassbinder-ish, the movie looks like one too, and the way he slowly unveils his frames is great. The background score is seeped in melancholy and its expert use at important moments lend an universal appeal to the movie, making you writhe in pain for the fate of the characters. And the strangest thing is its all so real that you won't feel you are watching a movie, its all too vivid, too candid and the acting by all 6 is exactly to that tune. And what a conclusion, you got to watch this I say, because after 150 minutes of harrowing, great film-making, the conclusion takes this to a cathartic level, and again the acting, the sense of timing is what makes the sequence a poignant knockout. Awesome movie, heavily recommended.

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