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Double Happiness

2014 DOK Leipzig, Doc Young Cinema Competition
Austria | 2014 | 72 min. | Chinese, English, German | English subtitles | International Premiere
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Double Happiness | Double Happiness

The Chinese believe that when two people get married their happiness is not shared but doubled. Cultures, too, can duplicate their happiness by copying each other. This concept has made China the land of master copyists. They don’t just copy paintings but whole towns including the surrounding scenery. Like Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut. The residents of this picturesque tourist village, who had imagined themselves unique, were forced to realise that they had been spied on and cloned. The hotel owner sees this as the realisation of a primal human fear, but as a good businesswoman she is also fascinated. So why not send the mayor and brass band to China to put the seal on this happiness?
Hallstatt becomes the starting point of a thought-provoking filmic journey of the mind that merges original and imitation, imagination and reality. Where are we when a pretty Chinese girl in a dirndl sings to the moon, “My affection is real”? In a capitalist’s wet dream, obviously. Because Hallstatt/China is a high end investment project and a side product of the massive construction boom. Where does that leave “us” and our culture, Chinese architects and urban planners ask. The film discovers a China full of self-doubts while its cleverly convoluted narrative structure refers back to “us” Europeans. Even the identity crisis has duplicated itself.
Lars Meyer
Original Title: Double Happiness
Country: Austria
Year: 2014
Language: Chinese, English, German
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 72 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Ella Raidel
Producer: Ella Raidel
Cinematographer: Martin Putz
Editor: Karina Ressler
Sound: Wong Ka Ho
Music: Rudi Fischerlehner
Gerald Weber

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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.