A tragicomic coming of age story, Happiness Sucks sees 12-year-old Jessica (Ella Fray) trying to help her sickly 15-year-old sister Sabrina (Emilia Bernsdorf) by finding her a sex partner. Convinced that a bizarre ancient ritual will cure Sabrina’s illness, Jessica goes on a mission that's as comic as it is sad.
Director Anca Miruna Lazarescu balances comedy and pathos beautifully in this quirky story scripted by Silvia Wolkan, which explores the challenges of adolescent girlhood as intensified by the pain of serious illness. Meanwhile the girls' father, Stefan (Martin Wuttke), is a kind single dad who works as a hospice caregiver, counselling the dying, all the while facing the possibility of his own untimely bereavement.
Happiness Sucks is a bittersweet film that finds humour and comfort in the most unlikely situations.
After the film, director Anca Miruna Lazarescu and actor Christian Friedel will take to the stage for a Q&A hosted by Anna Smith, film critic and host of the Girls On Film podcast.