Acclaimed film by Sara Taksler tells story of 'Jon Stewart of Egypt' who paid price for lampooning his country's leaders
Dr. Bassem Youssef used to perform open heart surgery on cardiac patients. Then he switched careers to something really difficult.
The man known as the "Jon Stewart of Egypt" launched a bold comedy show in the midst of the Arab Spring, daring to make fun of his country's leaders -- first the democratically-elected Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, and later the military strongman Abdul Fatah al-Sisi who ousted Morsi.
How that experiment in political comedy turned out is told in the Showtime documentary Tickling Giants, directed by former Daily Show senior producer Sara Taksler. It is now competing for Emmy consideration in multiple categories.
There’s a lot to laugh at, and to learn from, in Tickling Giants... First rate.
A free screening of the film will be held in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 19 at 6:30pm at the Technicolor Experience Center (3237 South LaCienega Blvd.). The screening will be followed by a live taping of a podcast featuring Bassem, hosted by Daily Show and Tonight Show writer Jason Ross. Click here for RSVP details.
Related: Tickling Giants director Sara Taksler on U.S. under Trump: 'We're in the baby steps of dictatorship'
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.