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Friday, October 06, 2006

GTB PSA #3 - Borat

Last night, Scooter and Lulu had the opportunity to attend the press screening of the movie Borat (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan), the funniest movie we have ever seen.

Borat is the story of a Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev who comes to America to make a documentary about American Culture for the Kazakhstan Ministry of Information. Borat and his producer Azamat Bagatov embark upon a cross-country journey to find Pamela Anderson, documenting the people they meet and the customs they witness along the way. Borat arrives in America with prejudices we didn’t even know existed and in his own incredibly offensive way, Borat uses these prejudices to expose bigotry in America.

In a country where we say homosexual and think fag, bigotry has become polite. By being so outlandishly prejudiced, Borat is able to evoke from ordinary Americans the terrible things they honestly believe and feel about the people around them. Borat drags American bigotry out into the sunlight for everybody to see (or to point and laugh at).

While some people may rise to defense of the population of Kazakhstan, I would say that the group(s) who should be most ashamed by their portrayal in this film are actually Americans. While the people of Kazakhstan are portrayed as poor and ignorant, the Americans who Borat meets and includes in his film come across as dirty bigots (for the most part) and to me that is so much worse. Borat’s bigotry is rooted in his inexperience with people who are different from himself. He comes to America, a country where people have every opportunity to learn about and appreciate the differences in the people around them, but never bother. In the end, Kazakhstan comes out looking pretty good.

This movie is so offensive it will make you cringe. But it will also make you laugh harder than you have ever laughed…maybe in your entire life. Maybe you can’t fight bigotry when it only shows itself around the dinner table and behind closed doors. Maybe you have to drag it out and laugh at its ridiculousness. Dzienkuje! (that's sort of Polish for Thank You!)



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