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November 18, 2008

some ugliness behind borat

Borat film 'tricked' poor village actors

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Comments (16)

I'm not at all surprised - we already know how they treated the Americans in this movie. How is this any different?

Posted by: Trevor at November 18, 2008 11:48 AM

It takes a lot of talent to be funny and not offensive to anyone, but I think it is something comedians should strive for - shock value humor is cheap and easy, so is embarrassing random strangers. With a little more time and effort I am sure he can come up with something funny that will still make people laugh - but leave 'us' as humans with dignity.

Posted by: tish at November 18, 2008 12:01 PM

Definitely out of order, if that's the way they have been treated. However, do not take the Mail's spin for granted. They were over there pretty sharpish to point out how the villagers were done over, and I imagine that speaks less of their neighbourly generosity and more of their hawkish attention to sensational headlines. I'm not defending Baron-Cohen here, I'm just pointing out that the Mail has quite a loose turn of phrase, and it's worth reading between the lines.

Posted by: Charlie (UK) at November 18, 2008 1:33 PM

hmm... I guess I am glad I've never seen the movie.

Posted by: gifa at November 18, 2008 2:14 PM

and why are we trusting tabloid news again?

Posted by: Seth at November 18, 2008 2:43 PM

well, I think people who comment on this are just happy that someone has some dirty laundry in their story of success happyhippocritical. more people laughed and will laugh about the movie than anyone will ever really care about the anger of some residents somewhere as long as it´s not themselves everyone´s "laughing about". come on, kids... get over that jealousy.

Posted by: dietrich at November 18, 2008 6:57 PM

What's odd to me is that these folks are making a case for being maligned, as though the audience believes that someone identified by a fictional character as a prostitute is ACTUALLY a prostitute, etc.

I get that they feel duped, and I sure wish Baron-Cohen and the production company threw a bit more money the way of these poor villagers, but I assumed I was in the majority who saw his narrative of village life as pretty much of a giant put-on and those folks as actors--or at least functioning as such.

Posted by: WriterLor at November 18, 2008 11:01 PM

hmmm, i didn't think there was anything but ugliness in borat. i still loved the movie though, and can't wait for bruno.

Posted by: notatoad at November 18, 2008 11:41 PM

This is a tabloid article and it is over two years old.

Posted by: demonoid at November 19, 2008 12:14 AM

sacre bleu, mein Ze: have you been time travelling again? This breaking news was from two years ago. I've never enjoyed comedy that makes fun of the unwitting for trusting someone falsely representing himself... and I remember this discomforting story from before... oh no - are you doing the making fun of the unwitting to us now?


Posted by: jeano at November 19, 2008 1:03 AM

Er, two years ago?

Posted by: Lionfire at November 19, 2008 1:05 AM

How do you know they're jealous? Maybe they're legitimately angry over being misled. I know I would be. You know what happens when you assume...

What has always bothered me about the Borat character/movie is that Cohen claimed one of his goals was to expose prejudice against Jews (hence the virulent anti-Semitism of the character). A noble goal, except to do it he reinforces a lot of negative stereotypes about Eastern Europeans, and in fact a large amount of the humor can be boiled down to "lol foreigners". Even if they hadn't misled the people in the village, I'd still dislike the whole thing because he's perpetuating bigotry while pretending to expose it. The movie being horrendously unfunny didn't help either.

Thankfully I've gotten to see Cohen do good things outside of this character, and I don't think he's a bad person at the end of the day. But it's hard for me to look past the ugliness of Borat.

Posted by: dan at November 19, 2008 3:25 AM

I liked Borat. There were a few scenes I didn't really enjoy, but I think the scene with the horrible frat boys on the road trip made up for that. Those guys deserved to be exposed for douchebaggery.

Posted by: Scarybug at November 19, 2008 10:31 AM

When I saw it in the theatre I said outloud, "That's Romania. Why is that Romania? This isn't very funny."

The whole country was outraged by the film, actually.

But this isn't so different from an American production of Memoirs of a Geisha and hiring Chinese actors to portray Japanese culture.

Hollywood is a little ignorant; same with the viewers who support such endeavors. The idea is there, and it's worthy of film, but the execution in how they go about it is wrong.

Posted by: Louisa Nicholson at November 19, 2008 11:00 AM

The Daily Mail?? Come on Ze, this is the same paper that supported Hitler until 1939 and was highly sympathetic of British fascists of the same era. Currently the Daily Mail spends its time scaremongering about immigrants, asylum seekers, comedians, Muslims, pirates to name but a few.

Posted by: Tom at November 19, 2008 3:58 PM

The story was reported in other ways by other reporters at other newspapers.

For the record, I've met people who thought this movie was a legitimate documentary.

3 pounds per person - come on, Baron-Cohen defenders, those people were exploited mercilessly!

Posted by: David at November 23, 2008 1:59 PM

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