The Way To Happiness - part of the Cheltenham International Film Festival
Cheltenham International Film Festival

The Way To Happiness - part of the Cheltenham International Film Festival

This screening forms part of Cheltenham International Film Festival, which marks its 5th anniversary in 2023. The festival will screen new films from around the world, plus film classics and is adding television, and new live events to its programme, along with guest celebrities.

This moving story of the healing power of cinema is a must see for any cineaste

In the 1980’s, Saul Birnbaum (Simon Abkarian) runs a Jack Rabbit Slims style diner, with his film maker friend Joakin (Django Schrevens), dedicated to both food and films. On the surface, they appear to be two successful businessmen. Underneath, both are suffering trauma – Saul narrowly escaped the Holocaust, while Joakin channels his own experience of fleeing Pinochet’s Chilean dictatorship into a period drama about Sauls escape from Nazi Germany as a child. All this hidden tension is finally released when Saul begins a relationship with Hannah (Pascale Arbillot), the mysterious projectionist at the local cinematheque.

Abkarian is superb as the charismatic, movie loving Saul, who frequently entertains his guests with film quizzes and impressions – a scene where the projector breaks during a screening of The Third Man and Saul regales the audience with a rendition of the cuckoo clock speech being a highlight. A passionate love letter to cinema featuring a slew of references to classic movies – including its own film within a film – this is a must see for any cineaste.


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