BO­RAT (2006) ONE, 9PM, MA, COM­EDY

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - HIGHLIGHTS -

Bo­rat – a highly-sexed, wildly anti-semitic jour­nal­ist from Kaza­khstan with a ten­u­ous grasp on English – is the fic­tional cre­ation of Bri­tish comic Sacha Baron Co­hen. Af­ter cre­at­ing con­tro­versy on Co­hen’s hit tele­vi­sion se­ries AliG, Bo­rat has been let loose on Amer­ica in this out­ra­geous, gob­s­mack­ing film that will have you laugh­ing out loud and hat­ing your­self for it. In this flick, Bo­rat is sent to the US to shoot a doc­u­men­tary which will help Kaza­khstan res­i­dents learn from their more cul­tured cousins. A loose nar­ra­tive links a string of shock­ing stunts whereby earnest Amer­i­cans at­tempt to teach Bo­rat about fem­i­nism, com­edy, eti­quette and life in the US gen­er­ally. Bo­rat, of course, man­ages to blun­der through, in­sult­ing and hu­mil­i­at­ing ev­ery­one he meets. While the Kazakh government once threat­ened to take le­gal ac­tion against the film, they soon re­alised the joke was on the US – mock­ing their man­ners, in­tel­lect and lack of cul­tural aware­ness. The fact that so many Amer­i­cans be­lieved there was a na­tion so ou­tra­geously back­ward as to em­ploy Bo­rat as a lead­ing jour­nal­ist is, in it­self, a joke. And the prank con­tin­ues on from there with Bo­rat’s jaw­drop­ping sex­ism and racism open­ing the door for oth­ers to re­veal their true colours. One thing many have ob­jected to is Bo­rat’s anti-semitism – in one scene he walks into a gun shop and asks a sales­man which gun would be best for shoot­ing Jews. The sales­man barely bats an eye­lid be­fore rec­om­mend­ing one. Here, it is im­por­tant to fac­tor in that Baron Co­hen is an ob­ser­vant Jew. As such, his feel­ings about anti-semitism no doubt run deep. Bo­rat’s prej­u­dice is just a tool that prompts big­gots to re­veal their prej­u­dices to a wider au­di­ence. And the views that get an air­ing should give us all pause for thought. ★★★★

Joke’s on you: Sacha Baron Co­hen plays a crazy, anti-semitic jour­nal­ist in Bo­rat.

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