One of the last Soviet silent movies, rediscovered and restored by French cine-chameleon Chris Marker in 1971, Happiness proved an easily accessible counterpoint to the exotic obscurities of The Wishing Tree. For this rare and often hilarious example of socialist slapstick is likewise grounded in the seeming eccentricities of Russian folk culture; but on the less culturally specific dynamics of those hopes and dreams which forever sustain the exploited, and which may or may not flourish after the revolution. Medvedkin's infectiously happy oddity emerged surprisingly from a slough of social-realist orthodoxy, and prompted none other than Eisenstein to the admiring tribute: 'Today I saw how a Bolshevik laughs.'

Release details

Cast and crew