Happy: A Documentary

Happiness is a choice. So take every opportunity you have and embrace that decision.

    I’m going to start this off completely honest: I find myself lost in the browse tabs on Netflix way too often to not consider it a lifestyle that I have adopted. I’ll decide that I’m in the mood to watch a comedy, and suddenly I’m forty minutes into the saddest plot line you can find. On one of my adventures down the documentary path on Netflix, I came across a thumbnail of a blue sky and the word ‘happy’ written in sky writing. For whatever reason, I was drawn to the piece, and the hour and thirteen minutes I spent watching it is time that I am glad I won’t get back.

    This documentary, Happy, instantly became one of my favorite films, a go-to when I need something to watch. The piece doesn’t follow just one story or one family, but brings into the depth the overall story of happiness. The filmmakers travel from sea to sea, showing how different cultures find and define happiness. Roko Belic challenges the viewers to check where their happiness is rooted from, and why so. Does a full wallet bring you security? Does a puppy sitting in your lap make your heart warm? Where do your smiles that extend from ear to ear come from? The producers made this film into a brain game, with effective results.

    My personal favorite of the travels is the stop in Okinawa, a Korean island. Although it is denoted as a significant battleground of World War II, it is also home to the longest living residents. The people who live on Okinawa practice and share happiness and positivity, and the universe returns their gratitude by extending their presence. This representation brings a great deal of significance to the overall message of the film, as it encourages the viewers to pay forward the good they have been given.

    Happy is not just a movie, but has manifested into its own movement. The HAPPY program consists of 28 days of activity, practicing gratitude and positivity. The movement has yet to launch, but some intriguing details have been announced. By signing up for the program here, you can be first in the know of how to bring a legacy of happiness aboard your atmosphere. On their homepage, you can also find a blog, where the writers occasionally feature some of society’s most powerful optimists and happiness promoters.

    If the word documentary discourages you, stand in front of it and defeat it. Happy is not your typical classroom lecture film. It teaches philosophy, it reaches to all ages, and it preaches positivity. So log into your Netflix account, and give this film a shot - you won’t regret the impact it leaves. 



Photo credit: Lesly B. Juarez