Happy Valley (film)

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Happy Valley
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev
Produced by John Battsek
Ken Dornstein
Jonathan Koch
Steven Michaels
Written by Amir Bar-Lev
Music by H. Scott Salinas
Cinematography Nelson Hume
Sean Kirby
Edited by Brian Funck
Dan Swietlik
David Zieff
Release dates
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Happy Valley is a 2014 American documentary film, written and directed by Amir Bar-Lev.[1][2] The film had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014.[3][4]

The film later screened at 2014 Sarasota Film Festival and won the jury award at the festival.[5]


The film narrates the event at Pennsylvania State University, when in November 2011 the former long-time defensive coordinator of school's football team, Jerry Sandusky, was charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse, setting off a firestorm of accusations about who failed to protect the children.


Happy Valley received positive reviews from critics. Justin Chang of Variety said in his review that "Amir Bar-Lev offers a typically gripping and thoughtful take on the Penn State scandal."[6] John DeFore, in his review for The Hollywood Reporter, praised the film, saying that "Amir Bar-Lev's Happy Valley is more concerned with the phenomenon of team spirit than any single question of fact or moral judgment."[7] Eric Kohn Vaughan of Indiewire graded the film with a B+ and said, "Happy Valley turns the tables on the national perception of the scandal. Looking directly into the camera after the team has been banned by the league, one supporter shouts, 'Stop putting all the bad stuff on TV!' The words resonate for anyone who has followed the headlines from the past several years. Watching Happy Valley, it's hard not to feel complicit in the university's weakened state."[8]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2014 Sarasota Film Festival Best Documentary Feature - Jury Prize Amir Bar-Lev Won[5]


External links[edit]