UM to Screen Holocaust, Humor Documentary

August 30, 2017

MISSOULA – The University of Montana will hold a free showing of “The Last Laugh,” a documentary on using the Holocaust as a topic for humor, followed by a moderated discussion with director Ferne Pearlstein and holocaust survivor Renee Firestone, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, in the University Center Theater.

Are we allowed to make jokes about the Holocaust? This entertaining and thought-provoking film puts confronting the ultimate taboo in humor to the test. The film features comedy legends and critical thinkers such as Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried, Harry Shearer, Alan Zweibel and Susie Essman, as well as Holocaust survivors themselves, including Firestone, a 93-year-old Auschwitz survivor and heart and soul of “The Last Laugh.”

Together, they offer fresh insights into the Holocaust, our own psyches, 9/11, AIDS, racism and other subjects that may or may not be off-limits in a society that prizes freedom of speech.

Following the showing, Pearlstein and Firestone will participate in a moderated discussion disproving the idea that there is nothing left to say about the Holocaust, while opening a fresh avenue for approaching the epochal tragedy. The unexpected results of the film and discussion will leave participants both laughing and appreciating the importance of humor even in the face of events that make them want to cry. Audience participation is encouraged to uncover the uncomfortable questions about how free speech can really be.

The showing is open to the public, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the film will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information call UM Productions Marketing Coordinator Will Johnson at 541-633-0720 or email


Contact: Will Johnson, marketing coordinator, UM Productions, 541-633-0720,