“Finding Happiness lovingly opens our eyes to a world of opportunities that our battered psyches can avail of if we simply turn to one another with care, compassion and a little love. It breaks down walls between communities and continents to help create little sanghas of joy and togetherness. This is a spiritual family with a religiosity that is a priori, universal and comforting in our intolerant times…
…It is amazing how in this little film the professional actors are the only ones who look like fakes until the leading lady casts her script aside in the last scene and reveals a heart that has undergone a genuine change and a soul in search if a transformation.” —Victor Banerjee, Indian actor
“I believe in my heart that the spirit of community, unity, and harmony that reside in the Ananda community and are so eloquently displayed in Finding Happiness is our future and how we will live one day as humans.
While in most part of today’s world we are far from living in that kind of harmony and unity, the fact that reality exists already today fills me with a sense of hope and empowerment. The truth is that in order for us to find happiness, we don’t have to believe in one thing or another or live in a certain way. Rather, we have simply to go within to discover and embrace that divine existence of joy.
Finding Happiness reminds us all of that very important fact, and in a way that leaves the viewer yearning to unveil and discover more about this way of being and loving the moment the film has ended.” -Christine Andrew, President, CoSozo
“I really enjoyed Finding Happiness. It’s an excellent blend of fact and fiction—very rarely do you find the two combined so effectively within one piece of work. It’s the kind of film during which you’re so caught up in what’s being presented that the entire hour and a half passes and it feels like only five minutes have gone by!” -Erica Roberts, writer, The Mindful Word magazine, Canada
“Finding Happiness is a treasure — a beautiful film about how one man helped create heaven on earth. Very inspiring and so relevant.” – Christiane Northrup, M.D., Ob/Gyn physician, author of the New York Times bestsellers: Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause
“Saw the movie today at the Del Oro Theater in Grass Valley. I went with an open mind and was simply stunned by the professional quality of the production and the sincere, concise and clear explanation of how Ananda communities were created and the foundations upon which they continue to thrive and grow. Kudos to everyone who were a part of this amazing and powerful story.” P.P., Grass Valley, Ca.
“An intriguing docudrama offering a fascinating glimpse into day-to-day life inside an idyllic spiritual community dedicated to cooperation, simplicity and sustainability in sharp contrast to the material world where competition and consumerism reign supreme.” – Kam Williams, Syndicated Critic / AALBC.com
“When the movie started, I was transported to different world, where people live together in cohesion, with love and service to Humanity. There is peace in every scene, and joy in people’s faces. I felt transcended seeing the movie, tears of overwhelming emotions rolled down my eyes throughout the film. In a country like America, what an inspiration that such beautiful place like Ananda Village exists. It is a heaven on Earth.” – S.S.R., New Delhi, India
“As a former journalist and award-winning documentary producer, I found the film surprisingly moving and authentic.” – J.S., Portland, Oregon
“A film full of emotion, this movie is bound to change people’s lives and transform their minds. A visionary perspective of Swami Kriyananda for the world for the future. With today’s global confusion, now is the perfect time to see this movie, and see that common people can make their lives better. The end of the movie leads you to a big silence, where words are nothing, the soul is everything.” – C.I., Bucharest, Romania
“A wonderful movie that brings out the beauty of living harmoniously with nature, in a community that is self sustaining and filled with love, care, compassion. It helps us to see ourselves as world citizens in the bargain. – S.R., Delhi, India
“Finding Happiness gave me optimism for the future and upliftment beyond words.” — D.D., Palo Alto, CA
“This movie has the power to change the world.” — A.S., Italy
“Watch this movie, and then look at your own life. You will see that you can always choose…happiness.” – C.U., Bucharest, Romania
“The film touches one’s inner being in its quest for peace, irrespective of who, what or where people belong.” – V.S., New Delhi, India
“I loved Finding Happiness It felt it was an honest and beautiful portrayal of the essence of a place where people work together, supporting each other materially and spiritually to become the most expansive expressions of who they really are. What a beautiful film! What a beautiful movement!” – E.G., Mountain View, CA
“Finding Happiness filled me with feelings of love, hope, joy and delight that there is a way….a way to be together where peace and inspiration reign in day-to-day living….a way to integrate spirituality into everyday life….living with respect, integrity, and compassion for fellow community dwellers and for all humanity. As this way continues to blossom forth, it can’t help but bring our ‘oneness’ into view…..with World Peace as the destination!!” – J.B., Seattle, WA
“Inspiring. Thought-provoking. Emotionally impactful. I thought a lot about how I can use these teachings to help my mom, who has stage 4 cancer.” -LC, Roseville, CA
“A very inspirational film. It brought tears to me.” -LJ, Nevada City, CA
“The film has the divine power to initiate desire to make life-changing investigation and experiences” -RGB, Nevada City, CA
“Absolutely delightful. Visually gorgeous. An invitation for others to do the same.” -DMF, Sebastopol, CA
Finding Happiness Movie Reviews by students from Pathways World School
“Finding Happiness spoke of a delightful reality away from the stressful real world of deadlines, noise and chaos, to a joyful community called ‘Ananda’, which exists in the lap of nature where people live in harmony & collaboration.
People in Ananda lead simple lives, care for the community and nature, and believe in serving humanity. Finding Happiness was portrayed through the eyes of an initially cynical New York journalist who is changed forever after experiencing the profound spirituality & simplicity of Ananda. Ananda is serene, peaceful and certainly a ray of hope for humanity. The movie brought out all the activities that took place on a normal day even subtly bringing in ideas like karma, that outlines how every action of ours comes back to us.
Finding Happiness is a truly inspirational and beautiful movie, providing a hopeful peek at a peaceful and simple coexistence of people from various backgrounds.” -Sudiksha Dhoot, Grade 12
“I’ve always been driven by materialistic happiness. I consider myself quite open-minded, however. When I began watching the movie Finding Happiness, initially I was very sceptical. Somehow, as it progressed, it found its way into my heart. It spoke of beautiful communities all over the world called ‘Ananda’, set up by people whose aim is to find happiness. People who have everything going for them in life, have given it up to go live in these communities as it gave them what they earlier couldn’t put a finger on …. Happiness Within Themselves.
These communities are composed of content, motivated individuals striving to serve the community and the earth unselfishly. The bonds that these people develop with each other lead to the creation of extended families, where people genuinely care for, support and help each other. This movie truly moved me as it showed me how one can be truly happy only if one finds it within hiself or herself. This movie spoke a lot about Yoga and Meditation as a means of stirring that part of the brain which stimulates happiness, contentment and kindness.
Though I’m not the kind of person who’d live in Ananda, because materialistic happiness and corporate victories do excite me, however, this is the kind of place I would find peace at. This movie has intrigued me and had I been in pursuit of peace, I’d be making arrangements to find Ananda right now.” - Suveda Dhoot, Grade 12
“Joy lies within You”
The pursuit of happiness through material gains is, without doubt, what the world is about today. But that barely leaves anyone with joy, because true joy lies within one’s soul. As cliché as this concept of finding ‘moksha’ (or the state of having achieved enlightenment) in your soul be, I have realised it does hold true to a great extent.
Though reluctant at first, I went to watch the screening of the docudrama titled ‘Finding Happiness.’ It has certainly enriched my perspective in more ways than one. It even answered a few questions like ‘Is the world all about money today?’ the whole concept of live and let live has been provided a different dimension in the Ananda Village showcased in the film. Living in small communities, driven by nature, might seem like utopia, but it is possible and even practical is what the film also tries to impress upon us. It reinforces the thought of simple living and high thinking, which I personally have tried to inculcate within me.
The idea of living in harmony with nature appeals to me and even inspires me to do something to look after the instant surroundings I am in and to reduce unwanted & unintentional damage. The film has also taught me that you get what you seek and has absolutely inspired me as well as made me grateful for all that I have. -Subhashree Rath, Grade 12
“I am very grateful for having got an opportunity to watch this movie. I couldn’t relate to all of it, but many parts of it were inspirational and amazing. It gives us a fair idea of how most of us continuously run after things that are not necessarily good for us while often not remembering to turn within, as that is where true happiness can eventually be found.
This movie acted as an eye opener for me, as I never thought it is possible to find that kind of real happiness in society. It motivates me to help people, help myself and I would like to watch it again once it is released.” -Monica Yadav, Grade 12
“I found the movie Finding Happiness to be very inspiring and motivating. It brought out beautiful and meaningful concepts and made us look at the world from a different perspective. Ananda seems to be a community where everyone lives in harmony and peace. Their lifestyles are different from ours, but they have managed to find lasting happiness, which surely is the goal of every human life.” - Ishika Mukherjee, Grade 11
Overhead at the Sierra Cinemas in Grass Valley in October (from Gauri)
When buying tickets, there was a young couple in front of me.
Girl: “which movie should we watch?”
Boy: “hmm… finding happiness?”
Girl: “sounds good, a movie about happiness can’t go wrong”
When they got into the theater, they started talking to an older couple, asking them whether they knew what the movie was going to be about. Neither of them did; they all got drawn to watch the movie just by reading the name.
After the movie, people walked out of different rooms, talking, laughing, making lots of noise… the people who were in the finding happiness showing all walked out silently… one man in front of me, while walking out, said to his friend “now that’s a life worth living…”
After the screening at the Moondance Film Festival, actor David Eby interviewed people as they came out from seeing the film. This is what some of them said:
“I’m kind of an emotional guy, and I’m not embarrassed to say that the movie brought tears of joy and happiness to my eyes. I feel in my heart right now a love for the people, for the movie. Seeing it makes me want to meditate more.”
“It draws you into a different atmosphere, one where you feel uplifted. I was especially moved during the song, the part in India.”
“A profound and artful film. The contrast between the skyscrapers of New York and the trees brought a powerful message.”
“These are the people of tomorrow: kind, not tense, creative.”
“This is the first film I have watched which I didn’t want to end. Even after the climax I wanted it to go on and on.”
See More Exit Interviews after the film: