The Economics of Happiness – film review

This has been sitting in my “drafted posts” folder for a long time. I dunno why I’m deciding to post it just now but here it is. Mostly commentary by the director and others after a screening of the film in NYC Cooper Union last Winter. (Which, by the way, was a packed house despite massive amounts of snow on the ground, the Mayor declaring a snow day and Cooper Union was actually closed on this day)

The Economics of Happiness was overall a well though out argument for supporting local economies. Although I didn’t find it particularly powerful or moving personally, I did enjoy the film and I’m sure some demographic will find it moving and that’s what matters most. There is a gradient of understanding and entry points into social movements and one cannot throw the uninitiated into the dark depths of an issue and expect activism to flourish. That said, this is a wonderfully eye-opening documentary for people who are oblivious to the issues addressed (basically slow money although that particular phrase wasn’t used once?!) or just getting to know and understand the issues on a broader yet deeper level. I think most of the folks in this particular audience already have our eyes wide open to these issues. I find that most of these documentaries coming out nowadays lack teeth and often I wish they would dig deeper. That said, it is impossible to please everyone and this is a film is clearly meant for mass consumption. I’m sure if it did all the things that I would have liked to see it would turn out to be unapproachably wonky and not accessible to the wider public. These types of documentary screenings are for the most part, about gathering the primary constituents, networking and furthering the conversation. Maybe when this film is was released in theaters nationwide and the general public begins to see saw The Economics of Happiness, some will continue learning and go on to take positive action, maybe getting completely involved in their local living economies in various levels, capacities and participation as well as use this film as a tool to recruit others for this noble cause which we should all stand for collectively.

I posted some video of the post-film conversation on YouTube, enjoy:




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