In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef 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 Show”). The weekly program quickly becomes the most viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode (15 times the viewership of The Daily Show).
Tickling Giants, directed by Sara Taksler, tells the story of political satire in a country where free speech is not settled law. Bassem and his staff must endure physical threats, protests, and legal action, all because of jokes. Tickling Giants follows the team of Al Bernameg as they discover democracy is not easily won. Despite increasing danger, the team at Al Bernameg employs comedy, not violence, to comment on hypocrisy in media, politics, and religion.