“Happy Valley” is a documentary that examines how the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal impacted State College, PA, a community that has, in large part, been built around Penn State University’s athletic culture. While the film examines Sandusky’s crimes to a certain extent, it places more focus on how the community and the media dealt with the consequences of the scandal.
“I’m interested in taking these stories that are served on the 24-hour news cycle and then re-presenting them or giving people an opportunity to re-think them [and] look at them again,” Bar-Lev told an audience during a recent Q&A, following a screening hosted by the International Documentary Association.
During the remainder of the Q&A, Bar-Lev actually guides the audience through the process of re-thinking “Happy Valley” in order to reveal what he calls the “ghost film,” a quasi-fancy word he substitutes to describe the making of the film.
Among the production topics discussed is how Bar-Lev came to meet the outspoken Penn State undergrad whose interview appears throughout the film. To learn more, check out the clips below.
“Happy Valley” opened theatrically in both New York and Los Angeles this week. The film is also available for rent or download on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Google Play and YouTube.
On why he chose to make “Happy Valley”:
On inserting perspective without letting it dominate the film:
On choosing one of the film’s more outspoken voices:
On choosing the film’s ending:
READ MORE: As Sandusky Supporter Seeks to Discredit ‘Happy Valley,’ the Film’s Director Responds