Monday, February 22, 2016

Currently Watching - 2.22.16


While the title and theme seem uber-corny, there is a surprising amount of information in this little documentary.

Happy is a documentary that was released in 2011 by film-maker Roko Belic (who is also an academy award nominee). The film is an exploration of human happiness conducted through a series of interviews with a myriad of people in 14 different countries.

The reason why I choose to take a look at this documentary is because I've noticed that the achievement of “Happiness” is such a huge goal in our society. I mean, let's face it...the idea of finding happiness is what drives us to do the things we do, buy what we buy, act how we act...etc. With all this in mind, have we been looking in all the wrong places for our happiness? I personally think so for the most part. A lot of what we seek is what has been instilled in us by society, our families of origin, and even our cultures. We witness this on a daily basis – people getting plastic surgery to “look better,” people thinking that acquiring material wealth will make them happy, and people seeking validation from others for their peace of mind. I say “blehhhh” to all of that! How many times do people get their face lifts or breast implants and still feel worthless inside? Or how about wealthy people who are still miserable and never seem able to fill that “hole” inside of themselves no matter what they acquire? I think that there is genuine happiness to be had in this world, but we must look a lot deeper than what society leads us to believe.

This is why I appreciate Happy. The documentary goes deeper to find some connection as to what really matters to our species deep down regardless of race, status, and/or educational level. Some of the stuff regarding achievement and materialism in the documentary is down right scary. Like in the beautiful country of Japan, people literally work themselves TO DEATH in the attainment of materialistic ideals. When I look at our country, I see really skewed priorities as well (perhaps not as extreme regarding the work ethic), but something's really gotta give. We have such high rates of depression and social isolation (thanks facebook!) in our country, it's ridiculous to turn a blind-eye to it all. With the rise of social media and texting as opposed to real interaction, people are more disconnected than ever from each other and the consequences are showing. The power to find a balance is ultimately in our hands and through awareness of our needs, we can really make a difference. Now, I won't go into details about the findings of this documentary as you should see for yourself (it's available on Netflix). One thing is for sure, it will really get you thinking! So, what makes YOU happy?

-- Sheena

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