A Portrait on the Search for Happiness (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 13m

In South Africa’s stark Northern Cape, the search for a better life has its inhabitants literally scratching in the dust for their own share of the diamonds that have brought so much wealth to so few.

Part intimate series of character portraits, part poetic meditation on land and myth and part contemporary document of a region wracked by economic hardship, A Portrait on the Search for Happiness juxtaposes elegant cinematography and sensitive storytelling with raw truths about today’s South Africa.

From the hopes of a young father striving to provide for his child, to the meditations of a former cook who once rubbed shoulders with royalty but is now living virtually homeless, to the former diamond diver now reliving his best days nightly in shimmering film reels, the film’s sense of futility is affecting - even as its characters’ hopefulness leaves a mark of its own.

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Director

Benjamin Rost

Languages

English, Afrikaans

Countries

Germany, South Africa