March 16th, 2017

A quick check this morning found two screenings of Tickling Giants already scheduled for Cleveland. The first, at the Cleveland International Film Festival (three showings on 1, 2 and 3 April) and the second at Case Western Reserve University on 1 April.

From Tickling Giants:

In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef makes a decision that’s every mother’s worst nightmare… He leaves his job as a heart surgeon to become a full-time comedian.

Dubbed, “The Egyptian Jon Stewart,” Bassem creates the satirical show, Al Bernameg. The weekly program quickly becomes the most viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart averaged two million viewers.

In a country where free speech is not settled law, Bassem’s show becomes as controversial as it popular. He and his staff must endure physical threats, protests, and legal action, all because of jokes. As Bassem attempts to remain on the air, keep his staff safe, and not get arrested, he continues to let those in power know they’re being held accountable. Despite increasing danger, the team at Al Bernameg employ comedy, not violence, to comment on hypocrisy in media, politics, and religion.

Tickling Giants follows the team of Al Bernameg as they discover democracy is not easily won. The young women and men working on Bassem’s show are fearless revolutionaries, who just happen to be really, really funny.

No unicorns or falafel were harmed in the making of this film.

Tickling Giants also posted this Call To Action:

Call to Action

Use your words.
They are louder and more articulate than your fists.
Jokes are words put together in a funny way.
Anyone in power who is threatened by a joke is not really all that powerful.
When you’re thoughtful and honest, humor can be cathartic.
And, unlike beating people up, it’s totally legal.

Are you brave enough to tell a joke?
Take a feather and tickle the foot of a giant.
Will the giant laugh or stomp on you?
It’s a risk, to bring peace and beauty to an otherwise hard moment.

Draw a picture. Sing a song. Say something.
Have your true self known.
When you are at your most authentic, others will be, too.
When you believe in something, speak up.
When someone is being taken advantage of, advocate.

When? Now.
Giants come in all sizes.
Big and small,
We should all, in our own ways, be
Tickling Giants.

It’s time to start Tickling Giants in your own life. Find creative, non-violent ways to express yourself when you see an abuse of power. From protesting a world leader to standing up to a bully in a school cafeteria. Encourage others to do the same, by sharing your experiences with the hashtag #TicklingGiants

Samantha Bee, who used to work for the American Bassem Youssef, had this, and this, to say.

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