Louis Malle

. . . And the Pursuit of Happiness

. . . And the Pursuit of Happiness

In 1986, Louis Malle, himself a transplant to the United States, set out to investigate the ever-widening range of immigrant experience in America. Interviewing a variety of newcomers (from teachers to astronauts to doctors) in middle- and working-class communities from coast to coast, Malle paints a generous, humane portrait of their individual struggles in an increasingly polyglot nation.

Film Info

  • Louis Malle
  • United States, France
  • 1986
  • 81 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • French, English

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 2: The Documentaries of Louis Malle

The Documentaries of Louis Malle

DVD Box Set

5 Discs


. . . And the Pursuit of Happiness
Louis Malle
Nouvelles Éditions de Films
Louis Malle
Danny Michael
Nancy Baker

From The Current

Louis Malle’s Final Documentary in Pittsburgh

Repertory Picks

Louis Malle’s Final Documentary in Pittsburgh

Louis Malle’s intimate portrait of the American immigrant experience, commissioned on the centenary of the Statue of Liberty, screens in Pittsburgh this weekend.

On Film / In Theaters
Jul 6, 2017
Eclipse Series 2:
The Documentaries of Louis Malle

Deservedly celebrated for the astonishingly diverse array of narrative features he made over a nearly forty-year career, Louis Malle was in fact even more multifaceted than this body of work suggests. For alongside such well-known, and disparate, dra…

By Michael Koresky

Apr 23, 2007


Louis Malle


Crime dramas, comedies, romances, tragedies, fantasies, documentaries, and, of course, coming-of-age stories­—director Louis Malle did it all. This most unpredictable and eclectic of filmmakers enriched cinema over a nearly forty-year career that took him from Jacques Cousteau’s watery depths (his first film was the Cousteau-codirected Oscar winner The Silent World) to the peripheries of the French New Wave (Zazie dans le métro, The Fire Within) to the vanguard of American moviemaking (My Dinner with André). Malle had an intellectually curious nature that led him to approach film from a variety of angles; he was as comfortable making minimalist works like the wordless Humain trop humain and the talky André as phantasmagorical ones like Black Moon. He is probably best known, though, for his deeply personal films about the terrors and confusions of childhood, such as Murmur of the Heart and Au revoir les enfants. Perhaps not as well-known is his parallel career as a master of the nonfiction form—one of his many documentary achievements was the seven-part Phantom India, which would be a stunning career centerpiece for anyone else; for this director, it was simply a fascinating side project. Malle died in 1995, shortly after directing his final film, the typically experimental Vanya on 42nd Street.