Many of the subjects Belic discovered for the film are no less memorable. You’ll never shake the story of a former beauty-queen debutante who considered suicide after an auto accident left her face disfigured, nor will you forget a sobering segment on a Japanese Toyota employee who literally worked himself to death (Japan, says the movie, is the world’s hardest-working nation and also its unhappiest). The world’s happiest nation is Denmark, many of whose residents live in communal housing developments and receive free health care and college education – proof that socialistic ideals can work wonders when executed properly and in the right sectors. If I have one quibble, it’s that Belic could have divided some of his content better. He skips across the happiness factor of religiously motivated zealots in very a short detour that could have consumed an entire film; meanwhile, he lingers too long on certain profiles in the last 20 minutes of his movie, making the 77-minute project feel a bit longer than it is.

“Happy” also screens locally at 5 p.m. Oct. 31 at Muvico Pompano, 4 p.m. Nov. 3 at Sunrise Civic Center and 1 p.m. Nov. 6 at Cinema Paradiso.

Next up was “Miss South Pacific,” a 40-minute documentary made for television by Mary Lambert, a veteran director-for-hire best known for some of Madonna’s most compelling music videos. The film is mostly about annual beauty pageant in Figi that attracts exotic models from the many major islands in the South Pacific. The attires are unusual and the women who perform inside them are inspiring; they hardly fulfill the hourglass-figure stereotype of western beauty. The movie stumbles, albeit in a well-meaninged way, when it broadens its scope to address the climate change that is submerging the homes and lives of countless pacific islanders. This is a noble cause for a documentarian to explore, but in the context, it just feels like Lambert had a lot of great footage of the beauty pageant and decided it wasn’t enough – that she needed to make an Issue Movie on top of it. “Miss South Pacific” lacks flow and structure, circling back on its own themes ad nauseum and integrating precious little new information. Awkward editing transitions and post-production faux pas – like splashing blocks of important text onscreen at the same time an unseen source is delivering us important quotes verbally, this bombarding us with too much information at once – make the project seem even more shapeless than it already is. There’s probably a great film about a beauty pageant and possibly even a great film about climate change somewhere in Lambert’s hours of raw footage; this is neither.

And lastly, for a film that’s screening in a vacation playground like Grand Bahama Island, “The Last Rites of Joe May” is quite a downer. As we stare at halcyon sunsets and sip exotic cocktails, this cinematic Quaalude is a hopeless reminder of how miserable life can be. Dennis Farina, in his meatiest role in some time, stars as the title character, a short-money hustler newly released from a six-month prison sentence only to find that his landlord has rented out his apartment and sold his meager belongings. Most of his companions in Chicago’s underworld assumed he was dead for the past half-year, and to them, he remains something of a walking corpse, a corporeal relic from another era whose time has passed. But he finds a kindred spirit in the form of Jenny Rapp (Jamie Allen Allman), a single mother with a violent police-officer boyfriend, who occupies Joe’s former apartment. She lets him crash in his old place, first out of pity and eventually for her own protection.

Writer-director Joe Maggio, a veteran indie filmmaker who directed “Milk and Honey” and “Bitter Feast,” paints his images with muted colors, reflecting the increasingly monochrome environment of its pitiful antihero. Farina is terrific in an unenviable role, bringing a scrambling desperation to his foul-mouthed anachronism. But he can’t save what is ultimately a static, unevolving picture, consumed at its margins with stick-figure supporting players. Maggio appears driven by an apparent need to redeem the ignoble Joe, even if it means turning Stan, Jenny’s abusive beau, into a completely over-the-top psycho. Stick around for the droll, unforgiving final image, however, which makes up for some of this languid redemption song.

“The Last Rites of Joe May” also screens at 9 p.m. Nov. 4 at Muvico Pompano and 7:45 p.m. Nov. 5 at Cinema Paradiso. The latter screening also includes a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation with Farina, who will be attending.