Joonas Berghäll: The Happiest Man on Earth

This text is written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, directors of the Magnificent7 Festival in Belgrade.

The celebrated author of the film about saunas, one of the greatest documentary hits in Finland, reveals in his latest work the world of unrecognized emotions of Finnish men. Talking, above all, about the deep longing for intimacy, made with a virtuoso authorial procedure, this is a film of exceptional strength and beauty.

Starting from the surprising conclusion of the research, according to which Finns are declared the happiest people in the modern world, the author documents a different, exciting, extremely emotional and colorful world of Finland, through the story of several men who reveal their sorrows, disappointments, sufferings and hopelessness. Colored with harsh humor, this film of stunning camera and photography takes us through mysterious and at times surreal landscapes. With complete openness, and as the protagonist of the story, the author masterfully intertwines individual currents, building a broad and complex image without stereotypes about the unusual mentality, misunderstanding, rejection and conflict, but also the universality of the deep sensitivity of Finnish men.

A top representative of always especially inspiring Finnish documentaries.

Finland 2019 85 minutes 

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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