The Norwegian traveler Audun is adopted by the Shaman Aman Paksa, deep in the primitive jungle of Indonesia. This is a story about a 14 year long friendship and of heartbreaking change as the trash of the modern world destroys tribal life and leads the Shaman towards a modernization.  

The adventurous and naive traveler Audun Amundsen is spellbound by the pure and unspoiled way of life in the Indonesian jungle. He buys a one-way ticket and a camera to document this utopian way of life. While living in the jungle on the island of Mentawai, he is adopted by the Shaman Aman Paksa and a strong friendship grow between the two. Aman Paksa hunts monkeys with a bow and arrow. His family lives in a wooden hut and trade goods with other tribes. His silent, bare feet, long black hair and bronze skin makes him blend in perfectly with the spirits of the deep jungle. An airplane in the sky above him reveals the approach of an unfamiliar, intriguing modern world.  

As the years pass by, the romantic harmony starts to crumble. The primitive and untouched community and way of life is introduced to rapid modernization, or rather - to the trash of the modern world. Ancient techniques and natural materials are swapped with plastic and cheap power tools; barter is replaced with capitalism, paddling oars with motors and muddy paths with highways. A growing gap in the religious Indonesian society leads to conflicts. TV-crews and tourists are swarming the island. Audun, who also holds a camera in his hands, is confronted with being just the same as the other tourists and a «walking bag of money». Some locals worry about the future of their fragile society. Similar communities have been dismantled by outside influences leaving little to the indigenous people.   

Aman Paksa finds himself torn between two worlds that seem impossible to unite in a responsible way. He is craving modernity and money and longs for what appears to be a simpler, safer world for himself and his family. Audun starts to feel selfish - complaining about the dangers of modernization, clinging on to the romantic past and decides to help Aman Paksa on his journey towards the modern world.  

In a story filled with humor and brutal honesty, Newtopia disrupts the typical films from indigenous communities. The viewer is left with a feeling of hope, and a profound sense that our common human nature can change for the better.  

Production and distribution

Production Year:
2019
Production country:
Norway
Release date (national):
2019-11-20
Production company:
UpNorth Film AS
Co production company:
GonzoDocs AS
Financing company:
Norwegian Film Institute
Midtnorsk filmsenter
Fond for lyd og bilde
Producer:
Christian Falch
Torstein Parelius
Co producer:
Audun Amundsen
Film consultant:
Lars Løge

Director

  • Audun Amundsen

    Newtopia is Audun Amundsen’s directorial debut, and it has been 14 years in the making. Amundsen is also the film’s screenwriter, DOP and co-producer.    

    Amundsen (b. 1980) is an international member of The Explorers Club and an avid explorer of remote human societies and social issues. His formal education is renewable energy engineering, and since 2015 he has submerged full time into the field of documentary filmmaking since the foundation of his production company GonzoDocs AS. Amundsen is also the producer and co-director of the documentary Nasi Padang - A Viral Adventure, and is currently developing other projects as well.  

    Audun Amundsen

Crew

Director:
Audun Amundsen
Screenplay:
Audun Amundsen
Editor:
Anders Teigen
Cinematographer:
Audun Amundsen
Composer:
Jørgen Meyer
Sound Design:
Audun Kvitland Røstad
Animator:
Victoria Pelejero
Marko Milionkovic
Narrator:
Audun Amundsen

Technical information

Format:
DCP 2k
Screen ratio:
16:9
Colour:
Colour
Length in mins:
90'
Language:
Indonesian
English
Subtitles:
English

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