Would Tony' trick in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" work? (semi-spoiler alert)

I hope that by now enough people have seen Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginairum of Doctor Parnassus” to help me answer this question.

When the characters in movie find Tony, he appears to have survived death-by-hanging by sticking a metal flute in his throat (since it is metal it does not break upon the fall, and prevents the rope from choking him too). It seemed like a pretty ingenious maneuver.

Does anyone knows whether or not this trick has been tried historically, and whether it would actually work in real life? Not that I plan on trying it myself, but you never know when you might face an angry mob…

As death by hanging is usually more the result of a broken neck than strangulation, I have to call “artistic license” on this one. Having a metal tube in your trachea will not prevent your vertebrea from seperating. For that you need something that will keep your head and body from moving seperately.

It also would not keep blood flow to the brain from being cut off by the noose, if the fall was not enough to break the neck.

Supposedly tried by Deacon Brodie, but it failed. (It succeeded in the movie version)