Jon Stewart’s saving grace was always his humility. As the lionized host of the Daily Show, the comedian turned journalist turned media critic never pretended that his work compared with the real contributions of soldiers or civil servants or reporters or activists. When Stewart tried his hand at dramatic filmmaking with Rosewater (2014), he chose as his hero the real-life Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, whose appearance in a Daily Show segment had come back to haunt him when he was imprisoned in Tehran during the 2009 election protests. Now Sara Taksler, a longtime producer for the Daily Show, has directed Tickling Giants, which tells the story of Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef. A heart surgeon by training, Youssef became a national sensation after the 2011 revolution with a weekly TV show of political satire, but after the 2013 military coup he was driven off the air and out of the country. Like Rosewater, Tickling Giants acknowledges that political satire carries much higher stakes under a repressive regime. Continue reading >>