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Ian Henry
UK 2019 / 76’
Aren't You Happy? Make Me Up

“This is what life is going to be life after the apocalypse. I’m a walking prototype,” says radical performance artist Petr Davydtchenko. His three-year artistic survival project was an act of opposition to technocracy and an attempt to create an alternative to the global system of consumption. Raw in form, the film is a record of his stay at The Foundry, a space created by the A/political group for experimental political projects that are unable to function in the mainstream art world. Davydtchenko compares the three years he spent in the woods, when he relied entirely on waste from civilization, to the bitcoin revolution. “Giving up shopping is like cryptocurrency. It’s destroying capitalism from the inside. Director Ian Henry follows the actions of his protagonist in the style of cinéma vérité, eschewing any commentary or judgment in his film. He leaves audiences alone with him even in extreme situations. Is this a provocation or a radical proposal from somewhere on the continuum between profound environmentalism and alter-globalist guerrilla warfare? Is it proof, as suggested by the title, which makes reference to behaviorist Frederick Skinner’s concept of human autonomy, that it is not our surroundings that enslave us but only our mental limitations?

Ewa Szabłowska

Ian Henry

Ian Henry has been making commercial films for many years. This is his first feature length film. He is currently making a feature documentary, filmed over 3 years, about a singer-songwriter struggling to replicate the success he has found at home on an international stage.


2019 Autonomiczny / Autonomous

Cast & Crew

director Ian Henry
screenplay Ian Henry
cinematography Mark Barrs
cast Petr Dawidczenko
producer Ian Henry, Mon Lam
production London Film & TV Ltd
sales London Film & TV Ltd
language English
colouration colour