This hysterical doc follows Bassem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart,” as he fights to bring satire to The Middle East.
Are you brave enough to tell a joke?
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. In comparison, 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.
This fiercely relevant documentary 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 also just happen to be really, really funny. D: Sara Taksler, US, 2016, 1h 51m
Part of the Dartmouth Film Society series Reel Change
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