RELEASE DATE: TBD Spring 2017
World Premiere – Tribeca Film Festival 2016
STARRING: (documentary) Renee Firestone, Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Carl Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, among others.
DIRECTED, PHOTOGRAPHED, AND EDITED BY: Ferne Pearlstein
WRITTEN BY: Robert Edwards, Ferne Pearlstein
Entertaining, thought-provoking...Pearlstein’s very deft assembly manages to raise all these ideas and others for viewer consideration while underlining that there are few, if any, definitive responses to them.
Entertaining and wrenching….The Last Laugh received a standing ovation at its star-studded Tribeca premiere on Monday.
The best part about the documentary is getting to listen to these funny people talk about all of these issues… That alone is worth the price of admission.
Reveals….the intensely personal nature of what people find funny….It doesn’t downplay the tragedy behind the comedy.
THE LAST LAUGH is a feature documentary that proceeds from the premise that the Holocaust would seem to be an absolutely off-limits topic for comedy. But is it? History shows that even the victims of the Nazi concentration camps themselves used humor as a means of survival and resistance. Still, any use of comedy in connection with this horror risks diminishing the suffering of millions. So where is the line? If we make the Holocaust off limits, what are the implications for other controversial subjects—9/11, AIDS, racism—in a society that prizes freedom of speech?
Shot on Super 16mm, THE LAST LAUGH thoughtfully weaves together an intimate cinema verité portrait of Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone alongside interviews with influential comedians and thinkers ranging from Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Gilbert Gottfried to authors Etgar Keret, Shalom Auslander, and Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, as well as archival material ranging from “The Producers” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” to clips of comics such as Louis CK, Joan Rivers, and Chris Rock, to newly discovered footage of Jerry Lewis’ never-released film Holocaust comedy “The Day the Clown Cried,” to rare footage of cabarets inside the concentration camps themselves. In doing so, THE LAST LAUGH offers fresh insights into the Holocaust in a way we haven’t seen before.
Director Ferne Pearlstein