A minimalistic, deeply psychological work of science fiction by one of Europe’s most unpredictable directors. The so-called happiness flower is an experimental, genetically modified plant that, according to an ingenious biotechologist named Alice (Emily Beecham, an award winner in Cannes for her performance), is supposed to secrete oxytocin and thus induce in those looking after it a state of blissful happiness. Cultivation in the lab quickly gets out of control, however, and Joe, Alice’s son, starts treating the flower that was given to him with extraordinary care. Hausner is masterful in creating an atmosphere of overwhelming paranoia, subjectifying the narrative and producing a disturbing feeling of detachment. Martin Gschlacht’s restrained cinematography lends the whole a cool, clinical feel, which is reinforced by the piercing music of Teiji Ito. Hausner’s original, posthumanistic variation on subjects familiar to us from Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Little Shop of Horrors raises questions about the ethical boundaries of science and the condition of a Western society plunged into depression and benefiting en masse from chemical mood enhancers.
An Austrian director and screenwriter. She has been running the coop99 production company since 1999 along with Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda, and Martin Gschlacht. She made her directorial debut in 2001 with the full-length feature Lovely Rita, a portrait of a young girl trapped in a complex web of family relations. Her subsequent films premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the Festival in Cannes. In 2016, Hausner became a member of the jury for that same section of the festival. Her most successful work remains Lourdes (2009), which was an award winner at festivals in Venice (FIPRESCI, SIGNIS, and a Sergio Trasatti Award), Warsaw, and during the LUX Awards, and Sweden's Guldbagge Awards.
2001 Lovely Rita
2014 Szalona miłość / Amour fou