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on April 23, 2012
I really liked this movie. I too saw it with my family (10 year old son, 13 year old daughter and husband) and we all liked it. I think it all comes down to the fact that we're happiest when we're feeling connected to other people and I think there's been enough research over the last decade to support this. It was interesting to note that extreme happiness and sadness are both short lived in that we all pretty much have a happiness set point that we revert back to quite quickly. When I think of all the mindless drivel we could have watched on a Sunday night I have to say that I think this movie was well worth my family's time. It was positive, sweet, informative and heart-warming and made us feel more connected because we watched it together.
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on May 7, 2012
I watched this movie because lately I have been interested in what makes people happy.

I was surprised that the people who made the movie had examples of happy and unhappy people from all over the world. There was this example of happy people that lived in a community in Denmark (I think), where they each had apartments that were part of a cluster, and they took turns cooking, and it was basically like living with a giant family. I had not ever heard of modern people living like that. Those people were very happy. There was also an example of unhappy Japanese people--in Japanese culture, there is a word for people who die of working too much, and that phenomenon is just part of their society. That was kind of sad.

I felt like this movie was more entertaining than informative; I didn't leave the film with a clear idea of what things I could do to become happier, except maybe to spend more time with friends. I did enjoy watching it, though. The wide variety of cultures represented made the movie really vibrant and interesting.

I would recommend this movie to anyone. I think it was totally appropriate for families.
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on June 25, 2012
I heard about this video on Hay House Radio. I decided to rent it while I was convalescing from chronic fatigue. It definitely drives home that happiness is a choice. The rickshaw man who lives in the Indian slum made an impression on me. Whenever I start feeling down, thinking about what I lack and forgetting to be thankful for what I have, I replay the segment about him in my mind. It also helped me to be less judgemental of others who don't conform to the "norm".
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on August 9, 2013
The total human experience was in included in this movie. The poor but very happy family in India was the most inspiring for me and changed my thinking on what material happiness really is. Thank you.
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on January 3, 2015
I have some qualification to comment on this movie, given that I used to work as an M.D., specifically in the specialty of psychiatry.
When I first saw the brief marketing piece on the movie, I thought it might be saturated with pseudoscience and syrupy feel-good.
However, the movie has much material that is grounded in appropriate scientific research. Also, it presents an eclectic-as well as culturally transcendent-view of methods involved in the achievement of contentment.
They discuss biological, psychological, and social factors common to various ethnic groups across the globe. They also mention spirituality in a way that should not put off materialists/reductionists.
To put it another way, the producers have distilled out factors that are common in achieving contentment for human beings, regardless of one's worldview (atheist/agnostic/religious).
Also, the producers have done this in a way that is down-to-earth and appropriately gripping, including individual people showing their stories.
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on March 25, 2013
We just watched this and it is FANTASTIC. It made us laugh (a lot!), cry and think. It's incredible to see what *really* makes people happy around the world ... and it's NOT what we normally think will. I highly recommend it.
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on February 28, 2012
Terrific movie. Not as good as "I am", but certainly a must see. Shows that happiness is something that can be learned like any other skill. Of course, those who chose to be unhappy will never watch this because they will have a list of negative reasons. Which is okay, we can measure our happiness by their self imposed misery.
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on November 12, 2013
For me, the interviews and array of footage in this documentary are what make it so enjoyable.
50% of our happiness is determined by our genetic composition, 10% of our happiness is based on our surrounding and 40% is unknown, leaving you to wonder if you can truly determine your own happiness in life. Personally I think yes. At the end of the day it is up to you whether you're going to let any stimuli effect your mood in any way. Everyone is different but one thing is for certain, we need outside stimuli to help process an emotional feed.
This film visits many different cultures throughout the movie which really gives you a different perspective of what makes everyone happy or unhappy, regardless of their social or economic background. I would recommend watching this movie in a class or group environment as it fuels great topics of discussion. Two things to keep in mind is that this film is not a "how to be happy" and it does not go into discussion about people who may have disorders that would or could otherwise take control of their responses to stimuli (whether internal or external).
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on February 3, 2013
It's a wonderful and inspirational documentary. It caused great and deep discussions with my family and friends. I highly recommend this movie for everyone!
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on March 15, 2015
I showed this video to my students during our unit on motivation and emotion. It goes through all these different case studies about happiness, such as a woman who got her face crushed, an Indian man who pulls a rickshaw, and the fact that Bhutan is trying to plan their country's future on gross domestic happiness instead of GDP. It has interviews with experts in the field of happiness research. It talks about happiness and it's relationship with the brain. I think this video is a bit challenging for teens, but still could be effective. I think next time I use it I would break it up and add discussion or create a worksheet with directed questions. But it is definitely powerful stuff. I think any thoughtful adult would dig it. It makes you think.
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