The Pursuit of Happiness

A video exploration of the Declaration of Independence’s most ambiguous "self-evident truth" through portraits of six people whose paths intersect at a maximum security prison in Pittsburgh, PA. Molly Rush is a mother of six and a member of the Plowshares Eight who faces jail for damaging nuclear missiles at a GE plant. Rush doesn’t "pursue happiness," but finds meaning in acting against the threat of total annihilation. Her husband, Bill, an engineer and family man struggles to understand her apocalyptic fears and worries about their children. Molly visits a fellow activist in jail, Warden George Petsock, who opposes breaking the law for any reason. At home, Petsock dreams of retiring and purchasing a mobile home. His wife Ida May ponders the happiness she sacrificed in thirty years of supporting George’s career. Finally, two "lifers," Ron Grimm, a Vietnam veteran, and Walter Henderson, an African American who works in the prison garden, contemplate the paradox of pursuing happiness while incarcerated and if that right was really meant for everybody.

 

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