Reinterpretation of the “Are You Happy Project”
The “Are You Happy ?” project asks what we can learn from documentary and contemporary life when we ask the same question across different cultures and locations, as the project leader Mandy Rose refers.
As a group (UWE MA Media students) we were asked or motivated to find a contemporary interpretation of the project. The starting point of the format should maintain, as a “vox pop” interview, but we would reinvent new ways of approaching it, as Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin, did when experimenting a new way of film. They used a revolutionary technique, by the time of 60’s, using handheld cameras and sync sound, being able, for the first time in cinema, to go to the streets and approach people randomly with the question “Are You Happy?”.
As a group we all felt motivated and agreed to emerge in different contexts of population or environments, taking this same question “Are You happy” as a starting point to try to meet those people’s worlds. Jean Rouch said that the subject of the original film was “What is your life?”, and that the vox pop question “Are you Happy?” was a way of creating a conversation, about different personal believes, values and concerns. Going into specific contexts of population, we aim to see how specific groups of people face this question. Do people from different backgrounds see happiness differently? How do they face it? What are their believes, stories and position in life?
Is happiness a general concept or is it influenced by the life you choose or not to live? All these questions end up in the same that Rouch revelled, “How is the life” of different people from different life contexts, in this case.
4 videos were produced for the “Are you happy? Project” featured on its vimeo channel: