Scary Utopia

The Village movie review for cohousing and intentional communities- SPOILER ALERT (the whole movie)  

The movie was released in 2004 so you have had plenty of time to see it but I like to watch scary movies this time of year and review films now that I’ve lived in an intentional community.

The movie has always had an interesting premise. A group of people choose to live in the past since they had others in their families fall victim to violence.  It reminds me of people thinking America would be great again if we lived like the Andy Griffith show portrayed it to be.  Is that what cohousing does? Try to make a perfect neighborhood that never really did exist, just the parts of our memories that remember the good times?

Their efforts fail and violence occurs through jealousy.  To save the young man, one young villager must break their border fence and find modern medicines. When the guard opens the door, we find the other guard reading a paper with only violence in the near by big city of Philadelphia.  The theme of violence is real and that, though they may try, it is always there. This is a theme in many American movies that tend to be man made. I’m not sure if women filmmakers and international movies have the same premise that violence is inevitable.  I don’t believe that for sure but when I made my first film I found myself falling into the easy trap to use violence to get things done (on the screen, not while filming of course).

The town quells the curiosity of any children leaving by scaring them with monsters that appear in the village from time to time.  It’s like an evil Santa Clause getting the kids to do what you want them to do.  Yet, even with the violence penetrating their perfect village, all the adults make the decision to stay. It may be an imperfect utopia, but they prefer this to the violent urban world they escaped.

When I first saw the film I was fascinated with the intentional community. I actually did get to live in the past. If you see my posts about Mexico you will see that there wasn’t electricity, but cowboys and 3 day weddings and a life we have long forgotten.  Community also came naturally. Families relied on each other.  It was necessary to talk to each other or die of boredom.  It makes me wonder if cohousing can exist as easily as it is marketed. It takes effort to change from an individualistic way to live to true cooperation and understanding. LIke in the Village, many people choose to keep reaching for a utopia.

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
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