Russian "утопленник" (drowned person) conveniently chimes with "Utopia" since here is a slow, asphyxiating, sinking-heart belt strap of a film which on a cursory glance is a backlash on liberal proselytizing against Oriental harems oblivious of its own female enslavement. Still trickily non-feminist as it's a woman who picks up the gangster role, leaving one puzzled if the new leadership is fairer to the prostitutes.
This little known German film by Iranian director Sohrab Shahid-Saless has been compared by critics to Pasolini's Salò. And with a reason: It's just as claustrophobic, brutal and controversial. But it can't be ignored that Utopia actually shares more common ground with Sartre's "No Exit". If there's one sentence that perfectly sums up the film's main concerns, it's without a doubt: "Hell is other people."