Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Library Video of the Week, November 5, 2012

Happy, a documentary directed by Roko Belic. Library Call Number: BF575,.GH27H37 2012. 

Excepted from the website Paste: Signs of life in music, film and culture:   Inspired by a New York Times article [that] director Tom Shadyac shared with Belic [ranking] countries by the happiness of their citizens…despite the fact that America is one of the richest countries in the world, it’s nowhere near the happiest.”… Shadyac was so compelled by the contradictory correlation between material wealth and happiness, he funded the majority of Belic’s film out of pocket.
          After traveling [through many nations of the world, what] Belic and his crew discovered was astonishing. He spent a few weeks in the slums of Kolkata, India with positive psychologist Robert Biswas-Diener (“the Indiana Jones of happiness research”) and “the poorest of the poor,” and found a community whose dependence on one another transcended their poverty. “Despite the fact that they live in little huts made of bamboo sticks covered in plastic tarps and plastic bags; despite the fact that there’s open sewage running in front of where they sleep; despite the fact that they have no income for medical care or schooling or for anything in excess of subsistence living, they’re as happy as the average American,” Belic says. “What I saw in the slum that I see missing in many American neighborhoods is a real, genuine sense of camaraderie and a bond among the people who live there.”
          Winner of eight documentary awards.

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