THE LAST HAPPY DAY is an experimental documentary portrait of Sandor Lenard, a Hungarian medical doctor and a distant cousin of filmmaker Lynne Sachs. In 1938 Lenard, a writer with a Jewish background, fled the Nazis to a safe haven in Rome.
Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hired Lenard to reconstruct the bones—small and large—of dead American soldiers.
Eventually he found himself in remotest Brazil where he embarked on the translation of A. A. Milne's classic children's book, Winnie the Pooh, into Latin, an eccentric task that catapulted him to brief world-wide fame.
Sachs’ essay film uses personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children’s performance to create an intimate meditation on the destructive power of war.
“A fascinating, unconventional approach to a Holocaust-related story ... a frequently charming work that makes no effort to disguise an underlying melancholy.” —George Robinson, The Jewish Week
New York Film Festival
Director’s Choice Award, Black Maria Film Festival
San Francisco Cinematheque
Punto de Vista Documentary Film Festival, Spain
Closing Night Film, Singapore Film Festival
“Exquisite...Sachs reclaims (Lenard’s) dignity and purpose using letters, newsreel footage, and recreations of his environment as if to channel him back from the past.” —Todd Lillethun, Chicago Filmmakers