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That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore — Hannah Currie, 2019

On a farm in County Wicklow, Lindsay is caring for her husband Paul, who, after suffering a brain aneurysm, is left in a perpetual loop of memory loss and repeating the same jokes over and over. Can his marriage survive? Can Lindsay’s love for her husband Paul sustain her through the trauma of his brain injury?

A moving documentary about caring, dedication and love.

Classroom Activities

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  • How do we know that Paul and his wife Lindsay have built a good relationship with the filmmaker Hannah? Why is this good relationship so important to sharing these real lives on camera?
  • Are Paul and Lindsay talking directly to camera? How you think this affects the way we engage with them as characters? Do we feel as though they are talking to us? Does it encourage us to feel more like we are there, and part of the group?
  • What diegetic sounds do we hear? Where do we associate these sounds with? Do they affect the mood of the piece? What sounds can you hear in your current location? What moods do they incite in us? Write a list of words which cause you happiness, peace, excitement, fear, stress…
  • How does the filmmaker create a sense of isolation in their use of mise-en-scène?
  • We are examining their lives through this short film. What aspects of daily life are shown? Do we have shared day-to-day experiences? Does this make us feel closer to them/like we understand their lives?
  • Five minutes in we hear non-diegetic dialogue from Lindsay. Until we have been looking at their lives. Now we are invited to better understand the emotional state of the marriage/relationship. How is this achieved? Does it change how we see Lindsay and Paul? How?
  • How is Paul and Lindsay’s narrative told through objects? What types of objects are used to show us what life was like before and how life is now? Consider how props can support understanding of narrative.
  • Why does Paul tell jokes? How does it help him connect with people/his past?
  • How is editing used to show Paul’s repetition over the passage of time?
  • What techniques are used to encourage us to gradually connect more with Lindsay as the film goes on (particularly from nine minutes onwards)?
  • In the tenth minute non-diegetic music is used to change the mood of the film. We move from a contemplative mood to something a little different. How does the music introduced here make you feel?


  • Lindsay speaks a little about Paul’s recovery and how the approach of family and friends has changed over time. Imagine you were in a similar situation. Normally we’d go to friends and family for support. Who can you approach for help when you experience difficulties both in and outside of school? Make a list.
  • Both Paul and Lindsay have strong accents and use local dialects. Consider how dialect gives us a shared sense of identity. Make a list of the words and phrases which are specifically local to you. Now pick somewhere else in the UK at random. How is their use of dialect different? Is some of it shared? Is there a crossover? What new words and phrases have you found?
  • Celtic cultures are every similar in many ways. Find out about Scotland and Ireland’s common roots.
  • Rural life is so different from life in a city. Think about your local community. How close-knit is it? Do you know your neighbours? Do you interact? How wide is the range of people you interact with?
  • Consider traditional male and female roles. In Paul and Lindsay’s case the roles have been reversed and now Lindsay is the ‘breadwinner’. What are the roles in your family? How do you perceive them? What skills, characteristics and attributes does each person bring into the mix? Why is it important that there is range here? How easy would it be for you to swap roles with someone else in your family? If you traded places what hurdles/difficulties would you each face?



  • Write a poem about losing your memory. Think of all the things in your life which would suddenly be gone. Consider the emotions you would go through,
  • Write a reflective essay on a time in your life when you needed support.
  • Take a photo of a rural landscape like the landscape shown in the film. Write on the back as if it were a postcard. Tell the reader what you are seeing, hearing, smelling and experiencing in that place. Now take a photo of a foreign city and do the same task. How much of what you have written is based on personal experience? At what point did you have to start using your imagination to add detail?


  • Make a two-minute film trailer about your own life. What will you include? What genre would you use? Who would you cast in the various roles? What snippets of dialogue would you include?
  • Create a short film showing life at home from your perspective. Will you interview those around you or simply show them in the home environment? Which aspect of life will you focus on or zoom into? How do you prioritise what to include?
  • Make a one-minute film of your local town using at least five different camera angles and two different types of sound.


  • Create a one-off image which shows a key moment in your life. It could be anything from a birthday celebration to the loss of a relative, the day you got your first pet, your first or most recent holiday, a day in lockdown…whatever you like. What places, objects and people will you include? How will you give the viewer a sense of mood using colour?


  • Photographs play an important part in memory and are used throughout this film to show the passage of time and encourage Paul to remember what came earlier. Create a storyboard of the last year of your life – recall the key events and show them using imagery.


  • Create a soundtrack to your life. How does music from our past, played again, connect us to memories? What would be on the playlist of your life and why? Create a track list first explaining the memories which stem from each piece.

Clip Details

Year of Production 2019
Genre Documentary
Curriculum Areas Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education, Sciences, Social Studies
Director Hannah Currie
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Non-Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Loss / Memories, Health, Identity / Self, Communication
Clip Length 12:13
Clip Length 12:13
Age Group S1-S3, S4-S6