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Still from Wintopia directed by Mira Burt-Wintonick.

ReFrame Review: Wintopia

Written by
Liam Parker
and
January 18, 2021

Wintopia

(Canada, 98 min.)

Dir. Mira Burt-Wintonick

ReFrame Review: Wintopia
Still from Wintopia directed by Mira Burt-Wintonick.

Utopia. A place that is both perfect, and doesn’t exist. If that’s the case, why would anyone go in search of it? Is it the human need to constantly seek a greener pasture, despite the world they live in being pretty damn good? Mira Burt-Wintonick, in posthumous collaboration with her father, shows that perhaps Utopia cannot be found in a single location, but perhaps within the journey we take to find it. 

Director Mira Burt-Wintonick is the daughter of famed Canadian documentarian Peter Wintonick, famous for films such as Manufacturing Consent and Cinema Verite: Defining the Moment. Burt-Wintonick skillfully pieces together home videos, postcards, family photos, archival footage of her father’s films, and, most importantly, a collection of over 300 VHS tapes that chronicle his search for Utopia. The VHS tapes were part of a lifelong passion project of Peter’s in which he travelled and searched for the real-world version of Utopia in all corners of the earth. In 90 glorious minutes, Burt-Wintonick weaves together a narrative of loss, hope, and genius. The film will resonate with anyone feeling as though their life seems to move along without a purpose. It is a bittersweet reminder that Utopia is not found in a location, but in the life one lives.

With a brilliant blend of tragedy, insight, wit, and philosophy, Wintopia provides a glaring insight into the mind of a creative genius. Through his own works and influences such as Noam Chomsky and Marxism, Peter Wintonick reveals the glimmering embers of a perfect world that glows within everything, everyone, and everywhere. The beauty of Wintopia lies not within the anticipation that Peter will find his utopia; it lies within the knowledge and catharsis that it won’t be found. Utopia is not found in any particular place, but can only be found fragmented within every moment of one’s life.

Catch Wintopia at ReFrame Film Festival, right from the comfort of your own couch! Streaming January 22-29, 2021. Details and tickets are available on their website.


Liam Parker is an intern at ReFrame Film Festival.



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