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The Happiness Machine

The Happiness Machine

Sunday, Dec. 22, at 1:30 p.m.

This short documentary is an allegorical companion to the Ray Bradbury short story of the same title from his collection “Dandelion Wine.” It introduces us to Carl Horton Hays, an agrarian philosopher and inventor. Hays lives on 22 acres in Dallas County, Iowa, the same land he grew up on as a child, which his family farmed as sharecroppers during the Great Depression.

After leaving Iowa to pursue the professional life, he describes the pull of the land and how he eventually returned to fulfill his childhood dream of building a place of his own. He has cultivated his small piece of land to leave to his children and grandchildren as a “gift of place.” His studied lifestyle and his remarkable creations, including a full-span bridge he built out of 384 recycled railroad ties, serve as the backdrop to the universal question: “What is happiness?”

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