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New Town Utopia (15)

A still from New Town Utopia

New Town Utopia is a feature documentary film about utopian dreams and concrete realities. The challenging, funny, and sometimes tragic story of the British new town of Basildon, Essex.

After WW2, New Towns were designed as social utopias to create (in the words of the post-war government) “a new type of citizen, a healthy, self-respecting, dignified person with a sense of beauty, culture and civic pride.” Basildon and its pioneer residents were invested with these post-war hopes and aspirations. Now, 60 years on, the town has deteriorated, degenerated and desaturated.  Art and culture are almost a distant memory and Basildon is often referred to as one of the worst towns in Britain.

The narrative is guided by the artists, musicians and poets of Basildon – on a journey through memory, place and performance. Facing austerity, adversity and personal battles they are individuals driven by creative spirit to help their community through art, poetry, music… and some rather angry puppets.

In Association with The Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) celebrating the legacy of Sir Frederic Osborn, New Towns pioneer.

Tagged with: Cinema New releases

UK 2017 Dir Christopher Ian Smith 80 min

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings


a black and white picture of the barbican towers in central london

Watch: Architecture

Discover more about the history of our Grade II listed building plus debates and discussion about architecture – with slight favouritism towards Brutalism…

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Barbican Cinema 2 & 3