Happiness is a Sad Song


Complete Film Available on Vimeo On Demand


Imagine it is summer and that, for the last several days, Montreal has been swimming in sweltering heat and smog. Then imagine that you are in the city’s downtown core and a woman holding a small video camera approaches you. She asks you to participate in a one-question survey. Although you are slightly wary of this proposal, you stop to listen. She asks you: “What does happiness mean to you?” and awaits your answer.
Go on! What are you waiting for? Answer!

Happiness is a Sad Song tells the disjointed story of Anne-Marie, an unemployed publicist pounding the pavement in Montreal with her mini-cam, collecting testimonials on the subject of happiness. It is happiness that she appears to seek, or understand to the point of being obsessed by her quest. Guided by serendipity and a series of surprising and varied encounters, Anne-Marie dives headfirst into her project. She meets a medley of characters whom she engages in engrossing, thought-provoking discussions about happiness. Anne-Marie moves from one character to the next, from one idea to the next in her survey, gathering reactions and challenging viewpoints that give her a chance to reflect upon her own life. How can her obsession be explained? Why the survey? And why the video camera?

Prizes and Nominations

Best Canadian feature at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie.

Nomination for the prize AQCC (best Quebec feature of the year).


Festival du cinéma des 3 Amériques
Vancouver International Film Festival
Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur
Sao Paulo International Film Festival
Munich International Film Festival
Moscou International Film Festival


Anne-Marie Cadieux, Boucar Diouf, Miro, Marie Brassard,
Denis Trudel, Luc Proulx, Frédérick De Grandpré, Micheline Lanctôt

François Delisle

Édith Labbé

François Delisle

Marcel Chouinard

Production designer
Éric Bernard

Pascale Paroissien

Ève Cournoyer

Line producer
Joceline Genest

DVD, 35 mm, DigiBeta, colour

Running time
84 min.


Distribution in Canada and international sales
Fragments Distribution


HR Images (7.6 MB)
HR Poster
Press Kit