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Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness (2003)

It's about everything and one thing: choice.


Tiffany Shlain

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at Amazon

3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Liz Marks Liz Marks ... Narrator (voice)
Sarah Mueller Sarah Mueller ... Ashley Adams
Marcus Berry Marcus Berry ... Chad
Mark Pauline Mark Pauline ... Bud LaCroix
John Newmeyer John Newmeyer ... Mr. Adams
Nancy G. Heine Nancy G. Heine ... Mrs. Adams
Sud Zhu Xu Sud Zhu Xu ... Mr. Lee
Rui Hui Li Xu Rui Hui Li Xu ... Mrs. Lee
Benson Wend Da Xu Benson Wend Da Xu ... Lee's son
Tina Lee Tina Lee ... Lee's daughter
Cory Lee Cory Lee ... Lee Grandchild
Nicky Lee Nicky Lee ... Lee Grandchild


With a witty, voice-over narration, this short explores the history of the United States as a democracy, founded on personal choice, and guaranteeing its citizens the pursuit of happiness. The argument is framed to explore the pros and cons of allowing abortion, contrasting an immigrant Chinese family, the Lees, with the Adams family, descended of a Founding Father. Beside the Adams and Lee families are frogs, nature's cold-blooded harbinger of climate change, environmental disaster, and loveless reproduction. Will the independent spirit of the American republic - with its trust in individual choice - triumph? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short



Official Sites:

Official website





Release Date:

January 2003 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grottofilms See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included in the Film Festival Collection DVD: Shorts!, Vol. 2. See more »


Lulay, Lulay
Arranged by Irina Mikhailovaand Kitka
Performed by Irina Mikhailovaand Kitka
See more »

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User Reviews

Understanding Humans, Or Trying To...
19 January 2006 | by DeanNYCSee all my reviews

Sociological over explanation, first for humorous then for poignant effect, on the topic of abortion. An unseen narrator explains, as if the viewer was from another galaxy, life on earth generally, and in the United States specifically, and relates the topic of reproduction, government and abortion to one particular family.

Through the use of film clips, news reports, and other elements, the story is told of the Adams family, a politician father, a caring mother, their daughter and her boyfriend, and how this topic becomes an important part of their lives. Included in the discussion is the history of the Constitution, a biology lesson of mammals, a geographic and sociological examination of the planet and a look at the rise of feminism in the USA.

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