Bhutan - A Happy Country
The small Himalayan kingdom Bhutan ascribes a greater importance to happiness than any other country on Earth. It doesn't measure general wellbeing just by its GDP, but also by its Gross National Happiness. But the happiness index published by the United Nations ironically places Bhutan a mere 84th. This documentary searches for answers to the question: what makes us happy?
The Gross National Happiness concept isn't the only thing that makes Bhutan special: there are no traffic lights here, no advertising posters, no plastic bags and, up until a few years ago, no television. But the country's gradually opening up to tourists and investors. Its economy is among the fastest-growing in the world; and yet a large portion of the population still live below the poverty line. Maybe that's depressing the citizens' happiness? How is globalization impacting the attitude towards life in Bhutan? And what's this self-proclaimed principle of happiness even about? Filmmaker Markus Spieker looked for answers to these questions on a journey through this picturesque country. And he found them in encounters with farmers and pop stars, monks and tree planters as well as trained happiness scientists.