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Seeking Happiness (Glücksformeln)

Seeking Happiness
Scene from "Seeking Happiness" (photo © devifilm)

What is happiness? And how does one’s personal definition of happiness change in the course of one’s life?

Protagonists between the ages of 11 and 90 tell us about their lives. Luis (11) cannot imagine that one can be happy as an adult, while factory worker Leo (90), despite the death of his wife, still finds life worth living. Janina (19) faces her existential fears; Martin and Margarete (71) have found their fulfillment on a farm in the mountains. The film’s protagonists talk about their desires and goals, look back at less fulfilling moments and into the future with hope.

Insights into these personal lives are accompanied by interesting contributions from international scientists. Representatives from the field of happiness research including Ed Diener, Timothy Sharp and Ruut Veenhoven, among others, from the USA, Australia, Holland and Germany reflect on the latest status of research and the personal perception of happiness. What kind of effect do happy moments have on our brain? How can we break with old patterns of thought? And is there a recipe for happiness? A film about large and small truths, with visual power and emotional intensity. Even if there are no perfect instructions for happiness, the film inspires research and reflection about the most basic human desire: to be happy.


Larissa Trueby studied Theater Sciences, English and German Language Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich before enrolling at the University of Television & Film in Munich to study Documentary Film and Television Journalism. After her studies, she gained professional experience at several production companies in Germany and Australia, including at X Filme Creative Pool. She worked for many years in the team of Tom Tykwer where she also produced and directed various ‘making ofs’ of his films. Her films include: Frühstück (short, 1995), Unlabeled – Young British Artists (documentary, 1997), Zweitausend (short, 2000), Free Falling (documentary 2004), and Glücksformeln (2010).
Genre Educational
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2010
Director Larissa Trueby
Screenplay Larissa Trueby
Cinematography Stefan Karle, Alexander Gheorghiou
Nikola Gehrke
Bruce Winter, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil
Producers Carolin Dassel, Dirk Hamm, Josef Reidinger, Larissa Trueby
Production Companies Truebyfilm/Berlin, Creado Film/Constance, Devifilm/Munich
Length 89 min
Format HDCAM, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Board, German Federal Film Fund
German Distributor Universum Film

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