Author Topic: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine  (Read 2442 times)

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Offline Grigory

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A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« on: 01:39 13-Apr-2012 »
Please support an online fundraiser for the film, "The Theory of Happiness"



I am a filmmaker living in Vancouver, and I'm trying to finish a feature-length film called, 'The Theory of Happiness" that I filmed in Ukraine and Russia in 2010, and which I have been editing for the last two years. The film chronicles my journey, as I became a participant in a radical Ukrainian sect trying to discover happiness through mathematical formulas. The film is political, as the group of people I have chosen to portray were being persecuted for forming an illegal, armed organization, and for violating minors. What do you think?

Currently, I am fundraising to record a soundtrack by an internationally-renowned composer. You can view the online campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/TheoryofHappiness.

Please read about the campaign, view the trailer, share it with friends, comment, and if you are able, support independent filmmakers making films in the Ukraine!

Thank you!

Grigoriy Gan


Online Tnic

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #1 on: 06:30 13-Apr-2012 »
I think they should all be locked up and raped daily for violating minors.  And they should not be given any air time to glorify their activities.

Apologies for the lack of understanding on my part.  I'll drink more coffee before posting from now on. ;D
« Last Edit: 10:36 13-Apr-2012 by Tnic »
Recent science has shown that saliva causes cancer, but only swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.

Carlusha

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #2 on: 07:12 13-Apr-2012 »
I think they should all be locked up and raped daily for violating minors.  And they should not be given any air time to glorify their activities.

T, I think you may have jumped the gun a tad (remember P-N's post about the dangers of the word "assume"?). Following the poster's link, you can see:


Quote
This is a film about a radical sect that prohibits smoking, drinking, swearing and sex.

and

Quote
Simultaneously, they are being persecuted by the government for forming an illegal, armed organization and for violating minors.

Offline kyivkpic

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #3 on: 07:36 13-Apr-2012 »
Grigory, you might want to clarify the phrase "violating minors."  :-\
Твоя голова всегда в ответе за то, куда сядет твой зад.

Carlusha

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #4 on: 07:58 13-Apr-2012 »
Grigory, you might want to clarify the phrase "violating minors."  :-\

Same again!


Quote
This is a film about a radical sect that prohibits smoking, drinking, swearing and sex.

and

Quote
Simultaneously, they are being persecuted by the government for forming an illegal, armed organization and for violating minors.


Jeez, it's just a film. The group is obviously innocent, the government are persecuting the group, accusing them of violating minors (amongst other crimes).

As we all know, a government can invent any false accusation it likes. We see examples all around us, every day.

Online Tnic

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #5 on: 08:35 13-Apr-2012 »
DOH! 

http://youtu.be/g6GuEswXOXo

I should wait until the coffee buzz kicks in.  Didn't assume, just didn't read completely AND comprehend what was written.

Ok, I retract my statement then.  The govt is pursuing fabricated charges to harass this group then.
« Last Edit: 10:42 13-Apr-2012 by Tnic »
Recent science has shown that saliva causes cancer, but only swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.

Offline kyivkpic

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #6 on: 10:03 13-Apr-2012 »
I guess I had the same problem. Early in the morning.

It would read easier though if it had the word "allegedly" or if it just stated that the charges are false. When I read it I guess my mind interpreted "persecuted" as "prosecuted".
Твоя голова всегда в ответе за то, куда сядет твой зад.

Online David Rochlin

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #7 on: 10:08 13-Apr-2012 »
Look at details at the bottom of his linik.  He is filming in Super 8.  Art project for school?

Offline Glyn Thomas.

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #8 on: 10:39 13-Apr-2012 »
I think a lot of people need to take a coffee and breathe before jumping in on this one? lol

... I have had a look at the link http://www.indiegogo.com/TheoryofHappiness and it seems like a genuine effort to make a film about an interesting subject.

The oxymoron is the title though.. I dont see anyone happy in the trailer.
« Last Edit: 13:11 13-Apr-2012 by ace123 »
I am the shadow of the waxwing slain.. by the false azure of the windowpane...

Carlusha

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #9 on: 12:59 13-Apr-2012 »
I think a lot of people need to take a coffee and breathe before jumping in on this one? lol

... I have had a look at the link [url]http://www.indiegogo.com/TheoryofHappiness]http://www.indiegogo.com/TheoryofHappiness] [url]http://www.indiegogo.com/TheoryofHappiness[/url] and it seems like a genuine effort to make a film about an interesting subject.

The oxymoron is the title though.. I dont see anyone happy in the trailer.


Even Admins need coffee at 30 minutes past noon!


Ace, your link should be:  Theory of Happiness - The Oxymoron!

Offline Grigory

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #10 on: 19:01 13-Apr-2012 »
Thank you for your interest and your comments, folks.

I'm going to offer a little background, and clarify a few questions.

First of all, this is not a student film. This is my second feature-length documentary, so the subjects are real, not fabricated or scripted. The film is shot in HD, and the Super 8 epilogue is meant to provide a different aesthetic to the film, in order to reveal where I am two years after the film has been completed.

The politics: This is a complex scenario. Originally, the sect was based in Russia. The leader of the sect started to recruit young university students in the 1980s and 90s, in order to build a "City of the Sun." In December 2000, RUBOP (Russian Institution for Fighting Organized Crime) broke into the "City" and confiscated grenades, rifles and mines (according to the court case). Subsequently, several leaders of the sect were persecuted under the same charges mentioned above, and all spent between 5-7 years in prisons and psychiatric institutions. At the time of filming, another participant was being persecuted under the same charges. Thus, a section of the sect broke off, and started a farm in the Ukraine, hiring Ukrainian workers and building a new "City of the Sun." The workers are paid $3 a day, they have no holidays, and they are forced to live on the territory of the farm in sheds with no running water, electricity and overflowing outhouses.

The sect recruited human rights defenders and high profile lawyers to defend them. They argued they were "prisoners of conscience," but upon witnessing their "human rights record," I became very curious as to whether or not the charges had any validity. There is no doubt in my mind that some of the charges are fabricated and trumped up. In fact, I cannot offer any answers.

My questions are: what do you think the sect reveals about the wider social fabric in Russia and the Ukraine if they have a system of corporal punishments and mistreat their hired Ukrainian help? Is the lack of a civil society a wider phenomenon, or is this an isolated case of radicals and eccentrics? Can we be relativistic about this group of people, recognizing that we all have different values and goals in life, and if so, how much "difference" could we tolerate before wider society is forced to intervene?

I think these questions are important. Hence, I am trying very hard to finish this film. It is my hope that over the next month and a half, wider discussion will also translate to support of this project, and it will see the light of day. Thank you to those who have checked out the campaign. If you're interested and able, please share or support!

Offline P-N

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #11 on: 19:39 13-Apr-2012 »
My questions are: what do you think the sect reveals about the wider social fabric in Russia and the Ukraine if they have a system of corporal punishments and mistreat their hired Ukrainian help? Is the lack of a civil society a wider phenomenon, or is this an isolated case of radicals and eccentrics? Can we be relativistic about this group of people, recognizing that we all have different values and goals in life, and if so, how much "difference" could we tolerate before wider society is forced to intervene?

1.  How can an almost anonymous sect reflect anything about the social fabric of Russian or Ukrainian society?  If they vast majority of society has no awareness of the sect, how can it react?

2.  You say "civil society".  Civil society as in NGO's?  The expression "civil society" is commonly associated with NGOs, academia and think-tanks rather than society at large be the general population civil or barbarous.  If am not sure if you are implying a lack of "civil society" or simply "society" when you ask the question as to what is lacking.

3.  Next, are you asking if radicals and eccentrics, be it individuals or group values and goals different from our own should be accepted by society?   Rule of law is not a big part the answer when it comes to activities under taken by the minority and the majority? 

Are you seeking some form of supra-fascist justification for intolerance outside of the law because they are "different"?  How or why should society interfere with those who are "different" as long as they act within the existing legal structure and do not contravene it?

Your questions lack clarity, so there can be no clear answers.
"When surrounded by the dark void of the willfully blind, it does not excuse those that are a spark of light their duty to shine" - Me

Offline Grigory

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #12 on: 21:02 13-Apr-2012 »
Short replies (by no means do I wish to enter into a protracted debate about this)

1. The sect has a very public presence; they attend and organize demonstrations and rallies, rubbing shoulders with the liberal opposition to the current administration, and recruiting high-profile human right defenders.

2. Civil society here can be understood similar to the way Jurgen Habermas refers to the "public sphere."

3. Is a group of eccentrics not symptomatic of the values of society, however skewed? Take a deeper look at their philosophy: they borrow directly from the main ideas of the Perestroika. I have written articles about them (in Russian and English), and if you wish, you can follow up on this topic on the website, <www.theoryofhappiness.com>. Do extremes tell us nothing about a wider community?

As per your last comment, I have professional training as an anthropologist. In anthropology, we are taught to attempt to understand other cultures and communities from the perspective of their own values and beliefs. Otherwise, we risk falling into the fallacy of ethnocentrism. This ethical position is known as "cultural relativism." My question ponders the merits of this ethical position; it is not an ideological debate.

Offline P-N

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #13 on: 21:14 13-Apr-2012 »
I come from the Pol Sci camp and therefore most things are ideological debates when it comes to social policy.  :D
"When surrounded by the dark void of the willfully blind, it does not excuse those that are a spark of light their duty to shine" - Me

Offline clanholmes

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Re: A film about Happiness in the Ukraine
« Reply #14 on: 04:00 14-Apr-2012 »
Please support an online fundraiser for the film, "The Theory of Happiness"



I am a filmmaker living in Vancouver, and I'm trying to finish a feature-length film called, 'The Theory of Happiness" that I filmed in Ukraine and Russia in 2010, and which I have been editing for the last two years. The film chronicles my journey, as I became a participant in a radical Ukrainian sect trying to discover happiness through mathematical formulas. The film is political, as the group of people I have chosen to portray were being persecuted for forming an illegal, armed organization, and for violating minors. What do you think?

Currently, I am fundraising to record a soundtrack by an internationally-renowned composer. You can view the online campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/TheoryofHappiness.

Please read about the campaign, view the trailer, share it with friends, comment, and if you are able, support independent filmmakers making films in the Ukraine!

Thank you!

Grigoriy Gan

Look like Hutterites
Besides your link, not much on the internet besides your link.

They remind me of commune society much like Mennotites and Hutterites who originally started in Eastern Europe also. They were also persecuted and eventually left also.
« Last Edit: 04:14 14-Apr-2012 by clanholmes »
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