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Norwegian period drama STATE OF HAPPINESS arrives at SBS On Demand

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It’s the summer of 1969 in the small coastal town of Stavanger, Northern Europe.

International oil companies have been test drilling for years, but nothing has been found and they are in the process of leaving. Phillips Petroleum, however, are contracted to drill a final hole. Stavanger lives off fish, and the North Sea is emptying out. Something has to happen. The town is in crisis.

The night before Christmas 1969, the gas flare at the Ocean Viking is lit. Phillips has found the largest sub sea oil basin in history, and everything is about to change.

We follow our four young protagonists from just before the first major oil find in Norway, and through the wild growth that follows. The four primary characters are American lawyer Jonathan (Bart Edwards), Anna (Anne Regine Ellingsæter), a secretary at the mayor’s office, Christian (Amund Harboe), a north sea diver from a wealthy family and Toril (Malene Wadel), a fish canning factory worker from a religious background.

The story is built around these four individuals and their families, who in different ways represent aspects of society and the way it changes. Their stories are closely woven together, and they are all affected by the societal changes brought about by the discovery of oil: the emergence of the welfare state and equal rights, work immigration and economic growth.

In Norwegian with English subtitles.

State Of Happiness premieres Thursday, 14 January 2021 on SBS On Demand (all eight episodes available to stream)

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