Hunting for Hedonia

Hunting for Hedonia

Competition Documentaries, Denmark 2019, 87 Min., engl., ger. OV, engl. st

“The intention that man should be happy is not included in the plan of Creation.” Modern psychiatrists don’t want to resign themselves to this tenet of Sigmund Freud. Since the controversial American psychiatrist Robert Heath (1915–1999) localised “Hedonia” as the seat of our sense of happiness in the brain, the willingness to perform surgical interventions has increased. The film focuses on “deep brain stimulation”, meaning the implanting of brain-stimulating electrodes (cranial pacemakers), to cure Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, and epilepsy as well as addictions and severe depression. Interviews with leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and patients reveal impressive healing results: After a successful operation, a woman who had suffered from severe depression her entire life said, “I feel like I was 54 years in a coma.”

Director Pernille Rose Grønkjær

Screenplay Lone Frank

Producer Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær

Production Company Danish Documentary Production ApS, Mail:, Web:

World Sales Journeyman Pictures Ltd., Mail:, Web:

Festival Contact Danish Film Institute, Mail:, Web:

Cast SP: Tilda Swinton. M: Alan Lipton, Antonio De Salles, Arnold Mandell, Ashwini Sharan


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