What’s in a joke? Protests, lawsuits, government oppression, and personal threats apparently, for Bassem Youssef the so-called “Egyptian Jon Stewart”.

This heart surgeon turned his scalpel to satire – his YouTube stardom turned into a television show, Al Bernameg (The Show), and was watched by 30,000,000 weekly viewers across the Middle East.

That kind of popularity, and the critique on offer, makes the powers that-be nervous of the man named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. That same year his show was cancelled and an arrest warrant issued, which accused Youssef of insulting Islam.

He survived Mubarak and Morsi, but his foot-in-it moment came with tackling El-Sisi.

This fascinating document of word vs sword carries the caveat, be careful what you say in jest.

Cape Town
V&A
Mon 5, 8.15pm
Sun 11, 5.15pm
Director(s):
Sara Taksler
Country:
Egypt / USA
Year:
2016
Duration:
111 minutes
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