HAPPY: A Documentary
From swamps to slums and why owning nothing can mean having everything.
By Maria Popova
What makes people genuinely happy? The nature and origin of happiness is something we’ve been exploring for a while, across a variety of projects and media — from Charles Spearin’s The Happiness Project to Gretchen Rubin’s’s identically titled but radically different yearlong experiment to the neurological underpinnings of happiness.
Now, an ambitious feature documentary is on a quest to probe deeper and go further to find what it is that truly makes people happy. HAPPY, from Oscar-nominated director Roko Belic (Genghis Blues), treks the globe from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata to unearth the sources of the world’s most precious natural resource through ordinary and extraordinary human stories and powerful interviews with the leading neuroscientists and psychologists researching the science of happiness.
HAPPY seeks to share the wisdom of traditional cultures and the cutting edge science that is now, for the first time, exploring human happiness.”
Inspired by Belic’s insight that the United States is among the world’s wealthiest nations yet reports some of the lowest happiness levels, HAPPY aims to examine this disconnect between wealth and well-being, indentifying the true currency of happiness.
I went to Africa when I was 18 and I had a very shocking experience. I met literally hundreds of people over the course of a few weeks who owned absolutely nothing. And yet they genuinely were exuding happiness.” ~ Roko Belic
WGSO has an excellent interview with Belic, revealing much of the inspiration for and insights from the film:
The film, a nonprofit project, was funded entirely through Kickstarter, of which we’ve been longtime proponents as one of the most potent platforms for crowdfunding creative ventures.
HAPPY is currently in post-production and we’re counting down to its inevitable awards sweep at Sundance.
Published August 12, 2010