Double Happiness

Ella Raidel
2014 | 75 minutes | Austria, China
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance

The idyllic mountain village of Hallstatt, Austria, has been precisely replicated near Huizou, China. Residents of the original Hallstatt visit their recreated town, baffled but also fascinated to find that every detail, in some cases down to the furniture in their homes, has been re-created thousands of miles away—setting the stage for provocative questions about tradition and innovation, copying and creativity, and appropriation and authenticity. Director Ella Raidel presents a multifaceted film experience, at once a thoughtful and sumptuously-filmed visual feast and a docu-musical of sorts, evoking The Sound of Music (1965). The documentary gets at questions about fairy tales around Austrian culture, the perfect life, and what it means to find home. 

Co-presented by Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Rooftop Films

Preceded by China Remix


Thresholds, My Perspective

Double Happiness is not about the immoral aspect of the copy, rather about the power of the copy, which becomes our cultural tour de force, and in turn, damages the original just as the iconoclasts have done in the past. We can even claim that the Hallstatt in China is as illusory as, or as real as, the original one, which is full of touristy consumerism and cultural fantasy from Asia, and the meeting of both in ‘the double happiness’ is by no means the true romance of the global culture.

- Ella Raidel | Director, Double Happiness