Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan looks set to be one of the hottest films of the year – except in Kazakhstan where people are getting in a right old strop about it.
Just like the British when U-571 showed Bon Jovi saving western Europe from the Nazis with rock and roll instead of a staid British man with the Enigma machine, and just like shop dummies when Mannequin portrayed them all as a bunch of raging nymphomaniacs, Borat has mighty ticked off the people of Kazakhstan, who are so upset that the Kazakh leader is specially meeting George Bush to have a bit of a bitching session.
There are several reasons why the Borat movie is going to rule. Admittedly the majority of these reasons are that Sacha Baron Cohen hasn't decided to release a 'comedy' duet with Shaggy like he did when that godawful Ali G movie came out, but also because the Borat movie is already annoying giant sections of people, especially the people of Kazakhstan – where Borat is purportedly from.
Borat's problems with Kazakhstan started last year when Borat presented the MTV Europe awards. As well as calling Madonna a transvestite and Shakira a prostitute, Borat also flew to the awards in a shonky 'Air Kazakh' plane flown by a man with one eye and a bottle of vodka which angered Kazakhstan enough for them to threaten to sue Sacha Baron Cohen and loudly wonder if Borat wasn't an invention by one of Kazakhstan's enemies created to undermine their country. Following that incident, Kazakhstan stopped Borat from using his .kz registered website after an announcement went up saying:
"I like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my government’s decision to sue this Jew. Since the 2003 reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilised as any other country in the world. Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats and age of consent has been raised to 8 years old. Please, captain of industry, I invite you to come to Kazakhstan, where we have incredible natural resources, hard-working labour and some of the cleanest prostitutes in all of central Asia. Goodbye."
Now, with the release of the critically-worshipped Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan movie – which sees Borat carrying a jar of gypsy tears around so he won't catch AIDS – Kazakhstan is kicking things up a notch by having a special meeting with George Bush to complain about this horrible man saying all those nasty things. Bush is set to hold talks with Kazakhstan leader Nursultan Nazarbayev over oil supply, but it looks like things are going to be a bit more Borat-centric. Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesperson Roman Vassilenko says:
"We have made it clear that we are unhappy with the character's representation. He does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan."
Aside from the fact that this is the best publicity that the Borat movie could have possibly got, we're disappointed. We won't be taking our holiday in Kazahkstan until the people of Kazakhstan at least try to become a bit more like Borat. Seriously, if we go there and don't even see one man-on-man naked wrestling match, we're going to be terrifically let down.
[story by Stuart Heritage]