Home is in the intellectual capacity to be happy
September 2, 2017 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Martin a short documentary by Donal Moloney "Martin has not slept in a bed for many years. He doesn't consider himself homeless. He is one of the most content and happiest individuals I have ever met. This short documentary explores the development of our relationship over the last few years but more importantly the search for happiness and what it means to different people." posted by Fence (6 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
One suspects he's simply not revealing all the unhappy moments he has as a consequence of homelessness.

I'm not downplaying the profound aspects of his experience -- if you can find any real degree of happiness by living "in the moment" on the streets, then you've genuinely figured something out. But there's no real way to enjoy rotting teeth, or frostbite, as far as I can tell.

One suspects he's made most happy by a bit of human contact, which the filmmaker has provided. IME, that's something most homeless folks really crave, even more than a hot meal or a bottle of wine.

Anyway, it's an interesting piece, thanks for posting.
posted by mikeand1 at 9:42 AM on September 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Part of me agrees, how on earth *could* he really be happy in that situation. But then again, who am I to decide he is lying to himself. I do wonder how he found himself in that situation, one article I read said that originally Martin was from Texas, so quite a journey to find himself living on the streets of Dublin.

I also think that there is a lot more misery in the vast majority of homeless people than the life Martin (the short film, not the man himself) reveals, and to romanticize his lifestyle is not helping anyone.
posted by Fence at 12:10 PM on September 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

'Contented homeless people' is one of the 'happy Darkies' narratives of our time.
posted by jamjam at 12:48 PM on September 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

It's beautifully shot, for sure. Something doesn't quite sit right, though. I think it is how they photographer talks as though he and Martin are living in entirely different worlds, with different motivations and needs.

It makes it easier to forgive ourselves some degree of complacency and lack of action towards the needy, when we think of them as "others" who just don't want for material goods.
posted by HoteDoge at 12:58 PM on September 2, 2017

Filmmaker: "Financial stability makes me happy."

If the filmmaker's goal was to make the viewer feel sorry for him rather than for the subject of his film, he has succeeded!
posted by tenderly at 1:08 PM on September 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can be happy despite pain though, or alongside significant amounts of pain. That's like saying someone with cancer or another chronic illness cannot possibly be happy. Health isn't a necessity to happiness.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:36 PM on September 2, 2017

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