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 forgotten and thus rewritten. The film intersects the real and the fake through visual imagery, interviews and songsand tells the story of the copy planned in secret and of its discovery, of the motivation and the background for the construction of the fairy-tale-like replica in a region with a population of millions. The film is shot in the fashion of a docu-musical to refer to Sound of Music (1965), the Hollywood production of an imagined Austrian culture. The origin is no longer determined by tradition or culture, but rather by playing a role or even playing with images deriving from the archives collected from mass- media visual footages as the collective fantasy. What matters is no longer whether it is original or fake, real or fictional, but the virtuality grounded in the epistemology of the image production itself, its perception, and effects in the capitalist globe.
The title, Double Happiness, means the happiness that increased twofold in marriage. The written character喜 (happiness, xi) is doubled囍, in other words, Double Happiness is happiness that simulates each other. The etymology of the Chinese word is taken as the leitmotif of cultural translation in fusing different traditions and histories into the romance of our times.