Hammer & Tickle
For citizens of the Eastern Bloc, jokes were one of the only ways to vent displeasure with their regimes. Jokes were risky, though: at least 250,000 people were locked up under Stalin for telling jokes. Communist jokes poked fun at all aspects of life: shortages, the gulag, repression and communist language. Reagan had agents tasked with keeping him informed of soviet humour; he used them as a barometer of mood and as punchlines for speeches. Featuring animated and sketch-based visualisations of jokes, this film takes a chronological look at funny jokes and the serious efforts to contain them.