Happy, the Documentary

The documentary filmmaker Roko Belic (nominated for an Academy Award for Genghis Blues) is working on a new project called Happy. The trailer is below. Belic consulted with researchers in positive psychology and traveled to 14 different countries to do a cross-cultural investigation into what makes humans happy.


The film is being financed, in large part, by Tom Shadyac, who cowrote The Nutty Professor and directed Evan Almighty but seems like a super interesting guy nonetheless. But Belic is also soliciting donations to finish the film through a Kickstarter page.

I'm glad to see this increasing public and academic interest in happiness as something important and distinct from income and status and sex and the other things we strive for. But I have to say, we're going to need to do a little terminological housekeeping. "Happiness" is just way too broad a word to be very useful. Sensory pleasure and winning the lottery and shooting heroin and zen inner peace and a satisfying job and a good workout all provide very different kinds of happiness. I hope Belic digs into these distinctions in the film.