a documentary by Carolin Genreith

It’s every daughter’s worst nightmare: a postcard from Thailand that reads: “My darling, I am doing great here, eating Pad Thai and drinking Chang Beer. And I met a woman younger than you. Sincerely, Dad."

My father has changed a lot in the past couple of years. After separating from my mother, he exchanged his hiking boots for flip-flops and travels to Thailand every year for a few weeks. Sometimes alone, sometimes with friends – all of whom are divorced and over 60. My father says that he and his friends are having the time of their lives. I ask myself what has gotten into him. As his daughter, the Thailand trips are a source of embarrassment, and are on everyone’s lips in our home village in the North Eifel. “Genreith is a sex tourist,” say the men. “He’s going to buy himself a wife.”

Is that true? Are my father’s trips to Thailand solely for sex tourism? Is that taboo? Is my father one of those men seen crossing the streets of Bangkok arm in arm with a younger, attractive Thai woman? What are he and his friends doing there at their age? Are the trips aimed at finding happiness? Or an expression of a race against time?

“Happy” is an affectionate, cheerful and personal documentary on men searching for happiness in the twilight of their lives, while simultaneously dealing with the question of what love truly is when you are over 60 and afraid of growing old alone.

to the press
HUPE Film - Dokumentarfilm


Screenplay and direction: Carolin Genreith

DoP: Philipp Baben der Erde
Sound: Michael Arens
Editor: Stefanie Kosik-Wartenberg
Commissioning Editor: Jutta Krug, WDR

In co-production with WDR

DOK Leipzig, Deutscher Wettbewerb
Duisburger Filmwoche
Dokfest Kassel
Doc Point Helsinki
CineDoc Tbilisi
Berlin and Beyond San Francisco
Nonfiktionale Bad Aibling
Filmtage Friedrichshafen

Audience Award Duisburger Filmwoche
Best Documentary Film Festival Bozen
Nominated for the German Critic´s Award
Shortlisted for the German Film Award