Reasons You Should Be Watching 'Tickling Giants' Right Now
Entertainment

10 Reasons You Should Be Watching 'Tickling Giants' Right Now

Are you brave enough to tell a joke?

78

The streets of Cairo, Egypt erupt with protests over politics. There's one man giving a voice to those without power. He is representing the people through satirical comedy, directed at the ruling elites. That man is Dr. Bassem Youssef, and he is the subject of Sara Taksler's extraordinary documentary; "Tickling Giants".

"Tickling Giants" follows Bassem Youssef (the proclaimed "Egyptian Jon Stewart") as he pushes the boundaries of Egyptian regimes in a political satire comedy show. As the only one of it's kind in Egypt, "The Show" garnered over 30 million views each week, accounting for more than 40% of the Egyptian population (to put that in perspective, "The Daily Show," Americans ultimate political satire comedy, only reached 2 million views at the height of it's popularity)!

Egypt is not a country known for their freedom of speech and tolerance of dissent, so Taksler, the film's creator, was fascinated by the work Bassem Youssef, a heart surgeon turned YouTube comedian turned late night television host, was doing in Egypt. She could never have predicted what was to come.

Find the trailer here, and think I hope you get the chance to then watch the film, because...

1. It's funny.

"Side-splittingly funny"

If you're at all familiar with "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart/Trevor Noah, then you know it's a comedy show based on intelligent and sometimes scathing satire. And as someone who used to watch it almost daily, I can tell you, it was hilarious.

Bassem Youssef models his comedy show, aptly titled "The Show," or "AlBernameg" in Arabic, off of "The Daily Show," but the stakes are much higher in Egypt's authoritarian regime. That doesn't stop Youssef and his team from giving comedy their best effort, and the result is a laugh-out-loud journey of jokes, success, and some of the hardest setbacks in the history of comedic television.

2. It's interesting.

"The Show" with Bassem Youssef

"Tickling Giants" not only tells the story of Youssef, it also chronicles the efforts of his staff, the evolution of his show and the changing political environment of Egypt. With beautiful and eye-opening footage, as well as a collection of interviews with both supporters and protesters alike, there is not a second of the documentary's 111 minutes wasted. Fans of satire and drama, political news and late-night tv alike will find something to love in Taksler's masterpiece.

3. It’s a cautionary tale.

"Not now?" Trailer Screenshot

"This show is about holding authority accountable, regardless of who's in charge." Youssef can be found saying in the trailer and publicity events beyond. This documentary and Youssef's journey perfectly show the dangers of a regime that is afraid of comedy and demonizes/tries to limit the press. It quickly shows the erosion of rights that we take for granted in the Western world and clues us in on just what we need to notice in order not to lose those rights.

Words are powerful. And when an authority in power tries to inhibit control, it may be time to start "tickling giants".

4. It's got some fun animation.

Flappy Giants

Advertisement for free Tickling Giants game

On staff at Youssef's "The Show," there was an expert animator who contributed his talents to the film. These drawings perfectly encapsulate what the documentary, and Youssef's actions, are about. With huge Godzilla-like dictators stomping on cities to Youssef's character running around the streets brandishing his feather like a weapon, these little scenes add a whole new element unique to many documentaries that come before.

5. It's professional.

Everything about the documentary is well-put together, well-said, and all around expertly done. With clear film from interviews, snippets of Youssef's show and footage from many riots and protests throughout the streets of Cairo, it is no secret that this film is built to last. And last it should, because it's messages and ideals are a privilege for anyone to learn (more on that below).

6. It's powerful.

"If your regime is not strong enough..."

"There's a lot to laugh at, and to learn from, in Tickling Giants," says New York Times critic, Ken Jaworowski. Director Sara Taksler would agree.

I got the chance to meet her, and besides her well-spoken ideals about the power of comedy in the political sphere, she told me that if nothing else, the main lesson she wants to impart on people through her film is this: "Find creative, nonviolent ways to express yourself when you see an abuse of power."

This is what Bassem Youssef is doing through his show, and as you observe his journey from surgeon to late-night comedian, you'll begin to fully appreciate the life you have and hopefully come away with these 5 takeaways.

7. It's eye-opening.

YouTube Tickling Giants Trailer

It's obvious to many that Western powers largely possess a certain stereotype and stigma around the Middle East. These prevailing generalizations many hold, from ideas of Middle Eastern culture, religions, peoples, etc., can prevent us from really attempting to learn about different parts of the world. "Tickling Giants" gives Western audiences, who Taksler often stated was her target audience for making this film, a chance to peer into this other area of the world and realize that culture and people are not something to be stigmatized, but something to be appreciated and understood.

Not only is it opening eyes to another culture, the film also reminds audiences how lucky they are to have free speech, an idea that's under attack in many areas of the world. Youssef's struggles throughout making this show (of which we see plainly through the lens of the documentary camera) remind us just how powerful our words are, and to not take them for granted.

8. It's really good.

"First rate documentary"

I've watched the entire thing, and would do so again in a second. Every part of it is engaging and it's hard to know what comes next. Everyone I've talked to in my life has loved it, but don't just take it from me or my community. Take it from these well-known reviewers:

""Tickling Giants" is a terrific movie that leaves you cherishing (a little more) the freedom we have, and holding in contempt (a little more) those who would compromise it."-Variety

""Tickling Giants" surprises us on several levels."-LA Times

"A beautiful, funny, charming, insightful, laugh until you cry, and then cry until you laugh film."-Huffington Post

"A first-rate documentary"-The New York Times

And more! (Plus it has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes "Tomatometer" so you can't really argue with that)

9. It's easy to get.

Tickling Giants Availability

Note: these dates are for 2017 so you can get the movie now without waiting

After you watch the trailer (and finish this article), you can find "Tickling Giants" almost immediately wherever you are. Here are some of the best places you can find this extraordinary documentary:

Tickling Giants Website

Amazon Prime

YouTube

Vudu

Google Play

Itunes

10. It's human.

I'll let that point speak for itself.

I hope this article has convinced you to watch "Tickling Giants", or if you have already watched it, reflect on the many positive aspects of the movie.

Tickling Giants is daring, funny, and more timely than ever. I hope you get a chance to witness it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments