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The Traveller's Magazine
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We all remember Borat, right? The Kazakh reporter sent to the United State to document the way of life in this venerated nation. Several years after the release of the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the country’s officials are seeing the positive effects on local tourism.

After the film’s debut several years ago, Kazakhstan authorities were, to say the least, unhappy about the film and how it portrayed its culture, country and people in a derogatory way. They even make a law suit about it! Let’s just say it, the character of Borat can be defined quite simply as: homophobic, sexist, racist and anti-Semitic, just to start.

“Kazakhstan is nice… you like it.”

Kazakhstan authorities reacted very strongly against Sacha Baron Cohen’s “mockumentary”, going as far as banning the broadcasting of it anywhere in the country and suing the production company for portraying their country and people as horse urine drinking, dog shooting and incestuous. Let’s not mention the “Running of the Jews Festival.” Six years and thousands of tourists later, it seems they’ve changed their tune a bit:

“Visas for Kazakhstan have multiplied ten-fold. I am grateful to Borat for attracting tourists to Kazakhstan,”

said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerzhan Kazykhanov, in Astana recently in front of the parliament.

Yet Borat didn’t stop shaping the country’s international image after the release of the film. Just last March he made the front-page of the papers when his mock national anthem of Kazakhstan was accidentally played during the medal ceremony at the end of a shooting competition in Kuwait. Oops!

In theatres: “The Dictator”, the newest comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen

For his new film, released in UK cinemas in May, “SBC” doesn’t poke fun at one country in particular. The supreme ruler of Wadiya (a totally fictitious country) is a bloodthirsty, vulgar, male-dominating dictator who will do anything to save his country from democracy.

“The heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed”, summarizes Paramount.

Have you seen the film Borat?

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