Aren’t You Happy?
„How did I become everything I never wanted to be?“
– The melancholic girl
A young woman drifts through a city in search of a place to sleep. She meets all kinds of quirky representatives of our mad neoliberal world. Young mothers rejoicing in their new role as a quasi-religious experience of enlightenment, spiritual self-awareness groups celebrating the disintegration of all physical and mental boundaries, existentialists who don’t want to sleep with her, and lots of other men who absolutely do want to sleep with her.
Representative of all disoriented thirty-somethings who fall into a state of melancholy as they search for their place in the world and only find a way out through procreation or self-help courses, the melancholic girl appears to be both a symptom bearer and a fighter. She confronts the new conventionalism and the dictates of self-realisation with a mixture of cynicism and rebelliousness. In pastel-coloured, pop-style settings and scenarios, an interesting discrepancy develops between the pinkturquoise décor, emotionally cold philosophical dialogues and the frequent nudity of the actors, reminiscent of the works of new Greek cinema film-makers such as Yorgos Lanthimos and Athina Rachel Tsangari. As an alternative to the rampant cult of authenticity, Aren’t You Happy? shows that artificiality and humour are an effective means of fighting back. (MS)
In cooperation with the office of equal opportunities of Academy of Media Arts Cologne.
Film Series Kaleidoscorpse
Awards for ›Aren’t you Happy?‹
Max-Ophüls-Preis, Preis der ökumenischen Jury – Filmfestival Max-Ophüls-Preis 2019
A minister’s daughter from east Germany, Susanne Heinrich wrote four books between the ages of 19 and 25, appeared at the Ingeborg Bachmann literary festival in Klagenfurt, among others, and had residencies at the Villa Aurora L.A. and Casa Baldi Olevano Romano. She is currently studying directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. Aren’t You Happy is her first film. She won the Best Feature Film prize at the 2019 Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis.