Happiness… Promised Land

Without preparation, and carrying only a backpack and a camera, the documentary filmmaker Laurent Hasse hiked from the French Pyrenees to the coast of northern France. “Hiking is a pleasure, and that pleasure is the subject of this film. Every encounter is an encouragement, as if everyone is thinking of me as I travel on.” Happiness … Promised Land is a road movie at walking pace, with Hasse’s unplanned and openhearted encounters with his compatriots determining the structure.

He has one important central question: what’s your definition of happiness? And it turns out to be a tough question to answer. A wide range of people have a go, though, including a bar owner, a baker, some soldiers, a monk, a couple of housewives, and Santa Claus. This rich palette of perspectives that Hasse collects shows that optimists tend to find happiness close to home – although sometimes you have to have traveled to find out that that’s where it is. The pessimists tend to view happiness as something fragile, or else as pure egocentricity – because how can you be happy when you know that others are suffering?

Happiness … Promised Land balances between common truths about everyday happiness and existential reflection.

   Duration: 94 minutes

   Spoken language: French

   Subtitles: English

   Director: Laurent Hasse

   Country: France

   Year: 2011

Rob van Herpen

Host at the evening of Happiness... Promised Land.

Laurent Hasse

Director of Happiness... Promised Land. In his words: "From the moment when people agree to open their door to you, to welcome you, to eat with you, to offer you the hospitality for the night, they are already in an open approach. They want to share. Quite easily you find common ground, common interests or common sights and friendship grows much faster than in ordinary social relations."

Katinka Baehr

We have shown a short radio doc, supported by a terrific animation, from Katinka Baehr. An episode from the series Toevallige Gesprekken, because it fits so beautifully with the experiences from Happiness. Accidental conversations...

November 17th 2016

entrance from 19:30

90 armchairs


110 seats at tables


Foto’s door Foto Keetels (fotokeetels.nl)