If you haven’t figured it out yet, a big part of this program is trying to figure out what makes people happy. Personally I believe happiness isn’t just something that happens. I think we all try to create things in our lives that bring us joy. But as Benjamin Frankly once said The Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to pursue happiness but it’s up to each of us catch it. I learned that quote from my friend Los Angeles filmmaker Roko Belic. At the 2011 Mountain Film Festival in Telluride Colorado he shared with me his latest project a movie he calls Happy.
“The way that I got into making Happy is very simple,” Belic said. “A friend of mine named Tom Shadyack called me and said that he had read an article in the New York Times that compares countries in terms of happiness. And this article said that although America is one of the richest countries it’s nowhere near the happiest. And Tom said ‘you know this is something I’ve been thinking about because I live in Hollywood and I’m surrounded by very successful wealthy, talented people who’ve essentially achieved an exaggerated version of the American dream and yet many of them are not happy. So we should get to the bottom of this and explore happiness in a documentary film.’
And I said Absolutely. Sounds amazing!”
So Belic spent more than four years traveling the world to explore many different cultures and communities. Along the way asked several leading experts in the science of human behavior exactly what it means to happy. And through the making of this film he discovered for himself and those of us in the audience a few simple answers to one of life’s most complicated questions.
The film Happy by Roko Belic isnow in festival and special screening distribution. For more information visit www.thehappymovie.com.
Music this week by Jake Shimabukur
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