The Happiest Man in the World

The Happiest Man in the World

North Macedonia | 2022 | 95 min. | Teona Strugar Mitevska

At a matchmaking event, a couple seems like they’re perfect for each other until she finds they were once on different sides of the Bosnian War. A story of love, forgiveness, and the circumstances that pits us against each other.

Time heals all wounds, as the saying goes, or does it? Macedonian filmmaker Teona Strugar Mitevska interrogates the scars of the siege of Sarajevo left on its citizens with her latest effort, The Happiest Man in the World. Craving romantic companionship, middle-aged legal worker Asja (Jelena Kordić Kuret) hesitantly joins a local blind-dating event (that sees its participants mandated to don light pink attire) where she happens to meet Zoran (Adnan Omerović), a banker and similarly aged contemporary. The pair gradually get to know each other and, as knowledge builds between the two, old political rifts of the not-too-distant past emerge, and what at first appeared to be a chance match-up unravels revelations mired in opposition. Mitveska's direction, in tandem with DP Virginie Saint-Martin, paints a frigid portrait of war's lingering trauma in affected communities that echoes the depressed social realism of Romanian auteur Cristian Mungiu (ironic given the film's title) with familiar allegorical tactics of the recently beloved The Banshees of Inisheran. Film lovers who enjoy politically coded dramas will not want to skip this one.

Dannzel Escobar

  • Original Language Title: Najrekniot Čovek na Svetot
  • Director: Teona Strugar Mitevska
  • Principal Cast: Jelena Kordić Kuret, Adnan Omerović, Labina Mitevska, Ana Kostovska, Ksenija Marinković
  • Country: North Macedonia, Belgium, Slovenia, Denmark, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Year: 2022
  • Running Time: 95 min.
  • Producer: Labina Mitevska
  • Screenplay: Teona Strugar Mitevska, Elma Tataragić
  • Cinematographers: Virginie Saint-Martin
  • Editors: Per K. Kirkegaard
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya (2021), When the Day Had No Name (2017), Teresa and I (2013), The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears (2012)
  • Language: Bosnian
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • International Sales: Pyramide International