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Tickling Giants offers a powerful demonstration of how satire can influence government policy -- and a sobering warning regarding the double-edged effects of regime change.
All Critics (24)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (24)
| Rotten (0)
In an era when an American president rages over how he's depicted on Saturday Night Live and obsesses about quelling critical "fake news," this is one relevant film.
[The film] surprises us on several levels. It reveals Egypt's familiar Arab Spring experience through a lens, that of satiric comedy, which is very different from the way we usually see it. And it has the personal element of Youssef's involving story.
The film ends on a supportive note, but it's a melancholy footnote to the lost revolution, with its long and brutal endgame in Syria.
Mostly, the movie makes you understand how every society - and ours more than ever - needs people like Bassem Youssef to demonstrate that laughter will always be one of the essential ways to keep power in check.
The man now known as the Jon Stewart of Egypt has graced us with satirical humor that sends a loud and clear message against repression.
There's a lot to laugh at, and to learn from, in "Tickling Giants," a documentary that starts off by telling the story of one man and ends up speaking volumes about satire, freedom of expression and political pressure.
This bittersweet documentary about a comedian deemed enemy of the state is both haunting and instructive about rebellions, authoritarian governments and satirical humor.
If Tickling Giants never digs as deep as it could, it's still a fascinating look at a culture just beginning to understand the power of sarcasm.
Youssef himself with his crooked smile and exuberant enthusiasm comes across as someone who in a normal state of affairs would be just another amiably slick joker. But in this context he takes on the bravery and the bearing of a hero.
This is both a fitting tribute to a brave man and his committed team, and a thoughtful insight into comedy's duty to speak truth to power.
Powerful docu follows story of "Jon Stewart of Egypt."
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