In Fragile Happiness Peter and Petra Lataster-Czisch reveal, through modern stories of money, happiness and morals, the age-old Dutch dilemma: ‘the embarrassment of riches’ – the friction between luxury and discomfort.
The Hague, seat of Dutch government, has always been a city in which wealth and poverty have co-existed. In the city centre, around the New Church, one finds gleaming office buildings, modern theatres and the city hall but close by is the working class area and the red light district. A few hundred yards from the New Church is the statue of the Spinoza, the 17th century Dutch philosopher, who rejected the acquisition of riches in favour of the pursuit of higher ideals. In Fragile Happiness we look at our opulent society through the perspective of this philosopher who was ahead of his time. Spinoza’s present neighbours are each in their own ways, in pursuit of happiness. We follow Jan – the street sweeper, Nancy — the dancer, Peter — the manager, and Arie — the pimp. We pay a visit to an art-loving couple, Mr and Mrs Nystad, meet the ex-millionaire Hans and Nur, the refugee from Somalia. They all cross and re-cross each other’s paths in the daily bustle between the New Church and Spinoza’s statue.
Original title: Geluk is als Glas
Directors: PETRA LATASTER-CZISCH and PETER LATASTER
Producer: CARMEN COBOS
Credits: Photography Peter Lataster / Sound Gertjan Miedema / Editor Ot Louw / Composer Han Bennink
A Ryninks Films production in co-production with The Humanistische Omroep.
Made with the participation of: The Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Promotion Fund, Gemeente Den Haag, Dienst Onderwijs, Cultuur en Welzijn and The VSB Fund.
Sales Agent: Cobos Films BV www.cobosfilms.nl
Versions: Dutch with English subtitles, colour, 90 minutes.
Copyright: Ryninks Holding BV/ Humanistiche Omroep 2001