Hammer and Tickle


Also available as 2 x 45 min.

The Communist Joke Book: What would happen if they introduced Communism to Saudi Arabia?

Hammer and Tickle

Hammer and Tickle

What would happen if they introduced Communism to Saudi Arabia? Nothing at first but soon there would be a shortage of sand. Why, despite all the shortages, was the toilet paper in East Germany always 2-ply? Because they had to send a copy of everything they did to Moscow.

Under the oppressive Communist regimes of the Soviet Union and its satellites, ordinary people told thousands of jokes about the society they lived in. Using this unique folkloric archive, this funny and insightful documentary tells the real history of Communism.

On the way it tells the story of what happened to the joke-tellers, some of whom ended up in the gulags, while others became stars of the stage and screen. This Monty-Python-esque history of Communism recreates the jokes using sketches, tricked archive and special animations.

Interviews include Lech Walesa, General Jaruselski, Peter Sodann, Guenter Schabowski, Ernst Roehl, Robert Conquest and many more.

Director Ben Lewis
Produced by Alegia in association with BBC and ARTE
Duration 90 min. or 2 x 45 min.
Year of Production 2006
Original Title Hammer and Tickle