Political activism is never more trivialized than in “Happiness Is a Warm Gun,” a teasingly titled Swiss indie by maverick filmmaker Thomas Imbach that reduces the lives of German “Green queen” Petra Kelly and her lover Gert Bastian to a series of childish games and domestic spats. Imbach’s following may garner this some attention in German-speaking Switzerland, but pic looks headed for nowheresville beyond the Alps.
A high-profile Green pol in the ’80s, Kelly died in ’92, shot by Bastian who then turned the gun on himself; their bodies were found 19 days later and their deaths have never been explained. Pic starts at the moment the bullet enters Kelly’s brain and flash-forwards to the present where Kelly and Bastian find themselves in the eternity of an airport transit zone, reliving elements of their life. Bastian, especially, is portrayed as a pathetic loser, worshipping the driven Kelly and showing a comic obsession with weaponry. TV footage of the real characters only emphasizes that Imbach lacks anything to say. Transfer from DV to 35mm is OK.