VIDEO: Inmates get ‘Happy’ in Italian prison

It's lifted spirits and sparked a global movement for happiness. Now prisoners in Sicily have been filmed singing along to Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' song in a bid to show that, even behind bars, they too experience moments that make them smile.

VIDEO: Inmates get 'Happy' in Italian prison
Screengrab: Paolo Andolina/CataniaOggi/YouTube

"It's the story of a dream – to try to be carefree – even behind bars," begins the introductory messages of the video entitled 'Happy dentro', or 'Happy inside.'

In the first clip of its kind to be made in an Italian prison, inmates at the Casa Circondariale Luigi Bodenza prison in the central Sicilian city of Enna can be seen singing along to the chirpy Pharrell tune while performing everyday activities such as sweeping the floor, lifting weights at the gym, playing table tennis and even making tomato puree.

Directed by Paolo Andolina and including prison staff, the aim of the video is to show that even when deprived of freedom, it is possible for prisoners to experience moments of happiness amid the suffering.

The film starts with a prisoner saying "today the sunlight is here, so take a break".

Watch the video here:

While it may be the first clip to be filmed in an Italian prison, the idea of getting inmates dancing in music videos is not new.

In a rendition of Michael Jackson's 'This is it – They don't care about us', 1,500 male inmates at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum security prison in the Philippines, emulate the dance moves from the original Thriller short film (see below).

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