A happily married man with two kids meets a woman postal worker and falls in love, achieving even greater happiness. However, he eventually confesses his infidelity to his wife and while out on family picnic, she jumps into a pond and kills herself. The postal worker comes into his household and assumes the duty as a wife and a mother as if nothing happened.
Happiness reminds us an Impressionist painting, as Mozart’s music flows over its sensuous colors; yet, unlike its elegant, brilliant surface, the film is a critical study on how patriarchic society produces certain forms of female gender roles and how they appear time and time again. If two women acting in the role of wife represent both the traditional sexual role of women and the social restraint cast upon them, then intentional use of striking colors forces audiences to be put at a distance while contemplating and examining their own roles. Still, after experiencing this film, it’s difficult for them to avoid the questions on true meaning of happiness and real nature behind sexual relationships and gender roles.
Agnès VARDAAgnès VARDA
Born in Ixelles, Brussels on May 30, 1928 and died on March 29, 2019.
VARDA was an extraordinary artist who pioneered modern cinema through installation arts, photography, live action films, and documentaries. As the mother of the Nouvelle Vague, she is also known as a pioneer of female films not only in France but throughout the world. As an expressive feminist, VARDA is famous for her critical essays on documentary-like reality and her interests on everyday life, photography, and arts.