The Last Laugh – film screening forming part of the Watch Docs. Human rights in film festival

Kto się śmieje ostatni
Kto sie śmieje ostatni - 14. MFF Watch Docs Prawa człowieka w filmie, fot.

Humour and the Holocaust? Most would consider this combination rather unfortunate. In her new document which premiered during the Tribeca Film Festival, the renowned cinematographer Ferne Pearlstein breaks one of the greatest taboos in our culture, proving that one can indeed poke humour at anything, especially at the things that are most painful of all...

December 12, 8 PM, free admission

Should jokes about the Holocaust always be condemned? Do political correctness and respect for the victims of the Holocaust make humor impossible? It might seem that the answer to these questions would be obvious: that there are topics that are not suitable for jokes. As it turns out, however, for those sentenced to death, laughter can be a weapon.

Laughter, jokes, and comedy not only help people relieve tension, but they also give them a chance to overcome trauma and nightmarish experiences. Holocaust survivors often say that, during the war, laughter was their only weapon. And in response to the question of whether it is OK to laugh at gas chambers and crematoriums, their response is not only that it is OK, but that you have to laugh at the Nazi death machine.

Laughter deprives of seriousness and power. A grotesque tyrant—Hitler on skates—is a real consolation for a nation that was meant to be annihilated. Jokes about the Holocaust do not necessarily have to be anti-Semitic propaganda: as it turns out, they were an effective weapon in the hands of the Jews themselves. It was not by chance that Tarantino made Inglourious Basterds.

The Last Laugh  
2016 USA

director: Ferne Pearlstein
cinematography: Ferne Pearlstein
editing: Ferne Pearlstein
production: Tangerine Entertainment