the last laugh
DIRECTOR: FERNE PEARLSTEIN
The Last Laugh pairs clips from films, performances, and interviews with top comedians and prominent Jewish leaders (including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Abraham Foxman, and Shalom Auslander) with an intimate portrait of Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone, and rare archival footage of cabarets in concentration camps. From this wealth of material, Pearlstein weaves together a complete and thoughtful exploration into the question of what is and is not off-limits in comedy. The answers are as diverse as the subjects she interviews. There is no consensus on which jokes work and which don't, and the film doesn’t take a stance; instead, it invites you to think, to laugh, and to remember, all the while keeping its levity.
Ferne Pearlstein won the Best Cinematography Prize for feature documentary at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival for her work on "Imelda." A graduate of both the International Center for Photography and the Stanford University MA Program in Documentary Film, Pearlstein is one of a handful of female cinematographers featured in Kodak's long-running "On Film" advertising campaign.