Hammer & Tickle!
A Free Thinking Film Society Party!
Special Free Thinking Film Festival Party!
It's time for a party and for all of us to have some fun. At the same time, hopefully raise some funds for the Free Thinking Film Festival.
On October 21st, we will showing an amazing film, Hammer & Tickle. It's terrific history and there's some truly good jokes in the film.
October 21, 2012, 7 PM
Library & Archives Canada
395 Wellington, Ottawa
Tickets available at the door.
Beginning with the tongue-in-cheek claim that jokes were the only good thing to come out of Communism, Hammer & Tickle recounts a humorous history of the Soviet Union and its satellite states through the jokes that flourished under the oppressive regimes in Russia and Eastern Europe. Jokes, the film contends, were a language of truth under Communism; a language that allowed people to navigate the disconnect between propaganda and reality and provided a means of resisting the system despite the absence of free speech. Using animated sequences, manipulated archival footage, and sketches to resurrect the jokes, the film offers an ironic take on the history of Communism while simultaneously investigating the social and political impact of jokes under Soviet rule. Interviews with Solidarity leader and former Polish president Lech Walesa, hard-line Polish leader General Jaroszelski, German actor Peter Sodann, German satirist and author Ernst Roehl, East German newspaper editor and Politburo member Guenter Schabowski, and academics Christie Davies and Roy Medvedev address the role that jokes played in challenging and weakening the Communist system from the inside even as joke-tellers faced censure or time in the Gulag for voicing their humor. Light and irreverent in its tone, Hammer & Tickle is really about the ultimate seriousness of joking and the use of the power of laughter to overcome hardship.
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