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Review: Finding Bliss [Odyssey 2023 Film Season]

Living in a big city can be pretty overwhelming, especially when it’s not the city you grew up in. The unknown places, the competitive job market and the extremely high rent are difficult to deal with. While surrounded by many people, it can still feel like you’re alone. This can result in feeling angry, sad and depressed. Therefore, it can be hard to find yourself and peace. That’s precisely what Finding Bliss, the latest documentary by Kim Chan (The Heavenly Kings) and Dee Lam, is about. While this feature isn’t 100% life-changing, it will remind you that finding happiness starts from within.

Josie Ho and Dee Lam in Finding Bliss. // CREDIT: 852 Films Limited

From the extremely busy Hong Kong to the tranquillity of Iceland

In 2018, Hong Kong was ranked as the 74th saddest population in the world. That heartbreaking fact is what Chan and Lam want to bring to the audience’s attention. Finding Bliss follows musicians such as Josie Ho (HK singer/actress), MC Yan (street artist and rapper), Jimmy Mak (guitarist), Ceung Yee-sik (drummer) and Jan Lo (singer) on the journey to self-improvement and happiness. Ho explains how living in Hong Kong is depressing and stressful and that Hong Kong is a place where people lose touch with who they are. To undo that damage, the group entertainers embark on a trip to Iceland, where they want to find sanctuary, peace, happiness and bliss. Inspired by the philosophy of Philippe Gaulier, they make short videos in which they explain what they’re feeling and how they are improving themselves throughout this trip.

Find happiness within

It’s clear that finding yourself, peace, and happiness is the most essential things in life. Unconsciously, many of us try to find that happiness and validation outsides ourselves, mainly through the praise of others and material things. Therefore we might forget what really matters in the end. In one of his classes, Jim Chim (motivator and entertainer) shows us how glorious and rich our lives would be if we allow ourselves to make mistakes and to be ourselves unconditionally. The key to happiness starts within and not by looking at the external world. In Finding Bliss, you see many moments during which the group enjoys the little and simple things in life, such as being together, playing around and having a good laugh. This proves that societal barriers can be torn down by just being who you are.

The group of musicians in Finding Bliss. // CREDIT: 852 Films Limited

What makes that message even stronger is the beautiful parallel between the group’s search for freedom and the stunning scenery of Iceland. The strong wind, the unexpected explosions of the geysers and the significant manifestations of nature are metaphors for people finally having a mind-blowing epiphany that the way to freedom is just to let go of the norms and prejudices. Being yourself can enrich your life, just like becoming one with nature.

Living in Hong Kong can feel very hectic, and while it’s the way of life, you have to find the right balance between a business-centric lifestyle and necessary tranquillity. Those contrasting elements are beautifully represented on screen by the fire and ice of Iceland. It’s crucial to find a balance between the two so that you, as a person, can survive. The search for yourself can be very intense and powerful, and Chad and Lam manage to capture feeling by integrating strong rock music into this documentary.

No drastically life-changing but the perfect guide to peace

While this documentary isn’t drastically changing everyone’s lives, it’s a great guide to help you find peace and joy. It also shows us that you can and must trust your inner self. After all, you’re the only person who can figure out where to find your bliss and happiness.

Finding Bliss is part of the UKChina Film Collab’s Odyssey Film Season at Battersea Power Station. Click here for all the information.

Also Read: Sustainability Is Never a Boring Topic, See How Chinese Young Filmmaker Hong Ning Perceives ‘Global Sustainability’ Through Images

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