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New York: Margaret Mead Film Festival: Ella Raidel - Double Happiness (Recommended by ACFNY)

  • American Museum of Natural History Central Park West at 79th Street New York, NY 10024-5192 (map)

The American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival is presented by the Museum’s Public Programs division in the Department of Education. Held annually each Fall, the Festival was founded in honor of pioneering anthropologist Margaret Mead, one of the first anthropologists to recognize the significance of film for fieldwork. The Mead screens documentaries, experimental films, animation, and hybrid works that increase our understanding of the complexity and diversity of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet.

We are happy to announce that Austrian work will be featured in this year's Margaret Mead Film Festival:


Double Happiness takes the Chinese copy of Hallstatt, a small idyllic town in Austria, as the starting point to explore China's fast urbanization. Chinese cities are built where histories and memories can be easily forgotton and thus rewritten. The film intersects the real and the fake through visual imagery.

The idyllic mountain village of Hallstatt, Austria, has been precisely replicated near Huizou, China. Residents of the original Hallstatt visit their recreated town, baffled but also fascinated to find that every detail, in some cases down to the furniture in their homes, has been re-created thousands of miles away - setting the stage for provocative questions about tradition and innovation, copying and creativity, and appropriation and authenticity. Director Ella Raidel presents a multifaceted film experience, at once a thoughtful and sumptuosly-filmed visual feast and a docu-musical of sorts, evoking The Sound of Music (1965). The documentary gets at questions about fairy tales around Austrian culture, the perfect life, and what it means to find home.


Ella Raidel, born 1970, studied at Art University Linz, lives and works in Taipei. She is currently Post-doch Researcher at Academia Sinica in Taipei. Ella Raidel is artist and filmmaeker, presenting her work at International Video and Filmfestival, such as Transmediale 2013, Floating Islands, Asian Triennale Manchester, Discovering and Other, Based Upon: True Stories.