Happy, the latest award-winning film from Academy Award nominated director, Roko Belic, takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
The film features insights from experts in the field of positive psychology including Ed Diener, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Richard Davidson, Daniel Gilbert, Nic Marks, Gregory Berns, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, P. Read Montague, and Tim Kasser and is narrated by Marci Shimoff, best selling author of Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Woman s Soul.
The film explains that while having enough money to meet ones basic living needs in life will bring happiness, having excessive amounts of money over that does not bring any additional happiness. The documentary interviews people who have lived through hardships, rural tribal members who own nothing, families in the middle east with barely a home, and a culture of people who are known to be some of the oldest living people in the world.
All these people living at the the same, or higher happiness level, as the typical American. The film also looks into the eastern cultures of Japan and China, where people work more hours than anywhere else in the world, and are actually dying from exhaustion. Looking into the lives of many people and societies, the film finds and exposes those things that genuinely make us happy in life.
Director: Roko Belic
Year of Release: 2014
Character to watch: Melissa Moody as herself.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?