Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Borat - a steppe too far for Kazakhstan?



In response to the media hype surrounding the controversial antics of Kazakhstan journalist Borat, the character portayed by comedian Sacha Baron-Cohen and the imminent release of his new film, the Guardian has published an article by Kazakhstan’s ambassador to the UK, Erlan Idrissov.


Kazakhstan is an easy target to poke fun at. Very little is known in the West about the oil-rich former Soviet state and it has no significant ex-pat community within the UK. Had the character been Pakistani or Jamaican there would have been an outcry. But now it seems that Borat’s misogynistic, anti-semitic and homophobic leanings have gone too far, as the ambassador very diplomatically states.

6 comments:

the big f said...

Kazakhstan has an appalling human rights record documented in detail by both amnesty international and human rights watch. The Kazakhstani government should be grateful that they are being scrutinised by someone as ineffective as Borat.
Borat is not misogynistic, anti-semitic or homophobic, but rather, does a great job at poking fun at those in the USA who are.

CW said...

Many other better known countries like China, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia also have appalling human rights records, but Baron Cohen wouldn't dare venture into this territory for fear of the consequences. Furthermore, most western governments don't dare address these issues for trade reasons. You don't hear about foreign oil companies pulling out of Kazakhstan in protest against its human rights abuses. Kazakhstan is simply an easy target and in any case Borat's fictional and inacurate portrayal of the country is hardly going to publicise human rights violations by its government. Yes, that song about throwing Jews down wells did expose the prejudices of redneck Americans in the deep south who clapped and joined in (particularly as unbeknownst to them Baron Cohen himself is Jewish), and yes, Borat is funny, but then jokes are always amusing as long as they're not at your own expense.

By the way, why do you keep changing your name to conscecutive letters of the alphabet? I suppose your next comment will be from the big G? Which is appropriate considering the above individual's other character is Ali G - but that's a whole different debate.

the big f said...

He's poking fun at the USA, not Kazakhstan.
I only brought up the issue if Kazakhstan's human rights record because it is the Kazakhstani government, not individuals from the country who are complaining.
Anyway, changing my name to consecutive letters in the alphabet? Don't know what you're talking about!

CW said...

No, neither does the Big G, apparently.

Lorainne said...

The big F believes he is a man of mystery.....Hmmmm.....I am not so sure....

Lorainne said...

My God!! the Big F has allowed me to have the last word. Unlike when he was writing as Big E.....