Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin
An opening title describes James Benning's experimental work as a combination of images found in the desert landscape of Death Valley and the Mexican border. What accompanies these images is the soundtrack of the English-language version of Richard Dindo's 1994 Swiss documentary Ernesto Che Guevara, the Bolivian Journal. Most of this documentary is about the last days of Che Guevara as a revolutionary guerrilla in Bolivia. Included are statements from Castro and Guevara as well as quotations from Guevara's journals. The film's imagery consists mostly of landscape shots taken from a stationary camera. The soundtrack is laden with political connotations, which become more powerful when merged with these impressive images. Utopia had its international premiere at the 1999 Rotterdam International Film Festival.
guerrilla, journal, landscaping, Mexico, politics, revolution