Wasteland Utopias | Chicago Reader

Wasteland Utopias

As flaky as a croissant, and nearly as enjoyable, this meandering experimental doc draws myriad discursive connections between the lives and legacies of two forgotten figures from the Cold War era: real-estate mogul Del Webb, whose Sun City development in Arizona initiated the unsustainable urbanization of the Sonoran desert, and Wilhelm Reich, the ex-Freudian heretic who preached sexual freedom and imagined he could reclaim the Sonoran for mankind by bombarding the sky with invisible life-force quanta he called “orgone radiation.” I have no idea whether director David Sherman really believes in Roswell UFOs and an Eisenhower-era “Weather Control Act,” but he sure knows how to have fun messing around with stock footage, old newsreels, lo-fi video reconstructions, and crank ideologies.

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