© Universum/24 Bilder

Glücksformeln (Seeking Happiness)
Germany 2011

Opening 14 Apr 2011

Directed by: Larissa Trüby
Writing credits: Larissa Trüby

Larissa Trüby investigates the secret of happiness. She talks to children, men and women between the ages of 11 and 92. She interviews professional experts in Canada, Australia, the U.S., Holland, and Germany (Berlin and Heidelberg). Everyone is forthcoming and helpful, but whether statements such as, “Nobody is in a fixed state of neutral,” or “It takes different ingredients to be delicious,” or “Happiness is just a chemical,” or “the power of positive thinking,” are informative is doubtful and definitely not new, e.g., Norman Vincent Peale published his The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952. Supposedly, happy people are in tune with nature, can stand being alone with themselves, and are privileged to work in their chosen fields. Health as a factor was not deeply discussed, although depression and “shyness” was. We learn that money is important, but not necessarily a guarantee of happiness: there are unhappy millionaires and relatively happy paupers.

Interesting, on the other hand, is the amount of money one can make from selling happiness, which can be deducted from the many “experts” who research, write books, make films, run seminars and conferences, and dispense “happiness” advice. Obviously, people are hungry for the stuff, however fleeting. As happiness is an exact science nowadays, you might as well know that in 2010, 71% of the Germans were happy. Happy people who watch the film will probably learn nothing new; unhappy people might find a few new rays of hope, or at least contacts where they can spend more money, which will make someone happy for sure. (Becky Tan)

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