Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen


Long Live My Happy Head / The power of love and art in health

Øvrige — What would you do if you were told you had a dramatically life-shortening illness when you were 32 years old? Start making comic books about it of course! Well, that's what Gordon did anyway.


Date & Time:

Gothersgade 55, Copenhagen, Denmark

Hosted by:
Global Health Film Days, School of Global Health - University of Copenhagen and Cinemateket

90 dkk


Gordon is a Scottish comic book artist with a big bushy beard, very expressive eyebrows – oh, and an inoperable, incurable brain tumour. By making autobiographical comics about his experience, he is able to communicate his thoughts and reactions to cancer in a medium and a language that is disarming, accessible and inviting.

Approaching his 40th birthday, Gordon has found the love of his life, Shawn – a warm-hearted and protective American man who lives in Bath County, Virginia. Their relationship may be long-distance, but they talk on the phone everyday they’re not together and visit each other as often as possible. Although his previous comics looked at his own personal experience, for his next book Gordon has chosen to focus on the people who look after people with cancer – the carers. His tumour is growing again though, and he’s on chemotherapy whilst meeting and interviewing people who have cared for and lost their dearest loved ones.

Long Live My Happy Head is a film about cancer and comic books, but it’s fundamentally a love story. We journey with Gordon and Shawn through one of the most difficult times of their lives only to see them emerge from the other side even stronger than before. Through intimately captured observational footage and video diary, stylised key interviews and animations created from Gordon’s comic illustrations, this film immerses the audience in Gordon’s world, and reveals how art, love and a sense of humour can soothe our deepest fears of mortality and losing the people we care most about.

EVENT There will be an exhibition of Gordon Shaw’s works in Asta Bar followed by a panel debate plus Q&A with the movie directors – Austen McCowan and Will Hewitt, and relevant stakeholders regarding care and mental wellbeing for cancer patients (30 minutes).


Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR2oYXnlcQo

Austen McCowan, Will Hewitt
UK, 2022
89 min.
English dialogue
Allowed over 15 years