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Icarus Film
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The Last Happy Day
A film by Lynne Sachs
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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

“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

New York Film Festival
Director’s Choice Award, Black Maria Film Festival
San Francisco Cinematheque
Punto de Vista Documentary Film Festival, Spain
Chicago Filmmakers
Closing Night Film, Singapore Film Festival

37 minutes / color
Release: 2015
Copyright: 2009
Sale: $248

Subject areas:
Cinema Studies, Cultural Studies, Jewish Studies, History (U.S.), Women's Studies, Literature, World War II

Related Links:
The Films of Lynne Sachs

Related Titles:
Sermons and Sacred Pictures: Profiles Reverend L.O. Taylor, a Baptist minister and inspired photographer / filmmaker who documented the fabric of black American life prior to the civil rights movement.

Investigation of a Flame: An intimate look at the Catonsville Nine who on May 17, 1968 walked into a Catonsville, Maryland draft board office, grabbed hundreds of selective service records and incinerated them with homemade napalm.

States of Unbelonging: The core of this haunting meditation on war, land, the Bible, and filmmaking is a portrait of Revital Ohayon, an Israeli filmmaker and mother killed near the West Bank.

Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam: When two American sisters travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history.

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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