19th Calgary Underground Film Festival

April 25 - May 1, 2022

9th CUFF.Docs Documentary Film Festival

November 24-28, 2021

The Last Laugh

United States, 2016 : Alberta Premiere
Archives 2016
In Cinema Globe Cinema:
Sun, Nov 20 7:30 PM Buy


THE LAST LAUGH asks the ultimate taboo question: Can the Holocaust be funny?
Shot on Super 16mm, THE LAST LAUGH thoughtfully weaves together an intimate cinema verité portrait of Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone alongside archival footage, clips from comics, and interviews with influential comedians and thinkers. From Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman and Gilbert Gottfried to authors Etgar Keret and Shalom Auslander, THE LAST LAUGH offers fresh insights into the Holocaust in a way we haven’t seen before.
In exploring the line between funny and offensive, the documentary questions what happens if we make the Holocaust off limits, as well as the implications for other controversial subjects – 9/11, AIDS, racism – in a society that prizes freedom of speech.

Tribeca 2016
Hot Docs 2016
Munich International Film Festival 2016
Jerusalem Film Festival 2016
Chicago International Film Festival 2016

Ferne Pearlstein is an American filmmaker based in New York City. She is a prizewinning cinematographer, a feature film editor, and a writer/director whose work has won numerous awards and been screened and broadcast around the world. Her director credits include SUMO EAST AND WEST,  DITA AND THE FAMILY BUSINESS (PBS) with Josh Taylor, and three short films including her debut RAISING NICHOLAS.

press for The Last Laugh

"[An] entertaining, thought-provoking documentary."
- Variety
"A truly provocative film that both entertains and educates, THE LAST LAUGH adds to a vital conversation about humour."
- Dorkshelf

screened with a short film

In The Name Of Comedy

United States, 2016, 19 Minutes, Director Jon Hart

A frustrated comedian makes a viral video, but it winds up being his worst nightmare.


Documentary / Female Filmmaker

18+ Licensed Screening
85 minutes


Ferne Pearlstein

Robert Edwards, Amy Hobby, Anne Hubbell, Ferne Pearlstein, Jan Warner

Ferne Pearlstein, Robert Edwards            

Anne Etheridge, Ferne Pearlstein            

Mel Brooks, Robert Clary, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Jeffrey Ross, Susie Essman