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Morgan Adamson
2022, United States, 34 min

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In 1968 architect Ralph Rapson was charged with designing one of the largest urban renewal projects in US history, a utopia constructed entirely of concrete. The plan faced one problem: the neighborhood they wanted to demolish was full of hippies and anarchists who had their own utopian vision. Tracing a remarkable story of resistance to urban renewal and its aftermath, the film uses archival material, participant interviews, and motion graphics to understand the dreams of modernity—and their violence—at the moment they were starting to crumble. It reflects on these dreams by engaging the current residents of Rapson’s brutalist buildings, the East African refugee community, as participants in the filmmaking and storytelling process. In uncovering this history, Brutal Utopias grapples with pressing questions we face today: how do we design cities and for whom?
34 min
United States
Morgan Adamson
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