MY HAPPY FAMILY (2017 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

My Happy Family—a film release from the Eurasian country, Georgia—examines complications of morality and ethics within a family whose Mother, without apparent reason, decides to abandon all her familial connections. The story is interesting, but it is complicated due to the mother’s (who is also a daughter and wife) seemingly irrational decision. This movie does provide a strong sense of realism, but makes one wonder where humane support for aging parents will come from, where love and compassion and empathy will be taught by example to younger members of the family, and how the persons she has abandoned will navigate without her support and good example of executing life decisions that are sustainable. The film does not deserve a monetary expenditure; but, as available on Netflix, it does provoke questions about the role a woman needs to fill in society and provides provocative discussion about where women may want to redefine and even redirect current trends in societal behavior toward more positive outcomes. The acting is very good and exceptionally realistic.

Storyline

At 50 years of age, Manana decides to abandon her entire family.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß for directing efforts. Thank you to Producers Tsiako Abesadze, Jonas Katzenstein, and Maximilian Leo for making the film possible for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Manana (Ia Shugliashvili), Soso (Merab Ninidze), Lamara (Berta Khapava), Nino (Tsisia Qumsishvili), Vakho (Giorgi Khurtsilava), Otar (Goven Cheishvili), Rezo (Dimitri Oragvelidze), Kitsi (Mariam Bokeria), and Tatia Chigogidze (Lika Babluani).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. While the film possibly justifies (toward the middle of its story), the main character’s decision to abandon her husband on the grounds of infidelity, her initial decision to leave her family seems ridiculously grounded, superficial, and entirely lacking in humane action, heart, and loyalty—all necessary qualities for survival of a species. This superficiality removes any gains for the character’s decision throughout the film as she descends into complete irresponsibility toward those most involved in her life. This movie may be a good study for collegiate level students, but as a family watch it fails. One cannot help asking what are the gains, the losses, and final conclusions for this decision. And, one wonders if she cannot maintain friendship with her family, how solid are her relationships with her friends and colleagues? It seems she has set herself up for an exceptionally lonely ending to life. Friendship, after all, begins at home and radiates from there. The film leaves one with an empty feeling that her final resolution is the purposelessness of life. After that conclusion is reached, what do humans have left?

Ben Meyers

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