Monday, January 08, 2007

A Hairy Guy and a Not-So-Freaky-King

I saw the movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" yesterday. I'm still digesting it. The character is the creation of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who claims to be a newscaster from the country of Kazakhstan who comes to the United States to learn what he can take back to his homeland.

What happens next is a cross between a "Hidden Camera" television show and slapstick comedy. Borat travels across the country, seeing America. Along the way, he experiences American culture and meets up with the country's finest citizens. The thing is, when this was filmed, most people he met with really thought he was from Kazakhstan and were being filmed for a documentary.

Controversy has swirled about the film. The Kazakhstan government claims "Borat" falsely portrays the country. I'm concerned with how Americans are portrayed. I haven't seen this in the reviews, but the film points out how racism, hate and ignorance are alive and well in the good ole' U.S. of A.

I was also disturbed because Cohen took advantage of people's good intentions to help someone across the globe learn about our country and he made a mockery of it. I think of the times I've traveled to foreign lands and relied on the kindness of strangers to teach me about their culture. Will the incidents of "Borat" cause people to be less trusting? Or what's worse - no one cares this still exists?

After you're done pondering that, I began contributing to a new foodie blog over the weekend, called Yummy-King.net. Feel free to drop by and if you have any food related items to "feed" me, send my way.

2 comments:

Surly said...

I love ya, darlin', but come on - it's a freakin' movie! It's for entertainment purposes, not to bolster foreign relations. Is this the only movie that's ever made fun of people from other countries? What about SNL? What about the Daily Show? You think people aren't offended every day by that? If it made you laugh or think, then it's a good movie. Period.

JA Huber said...

Hey Surly. Nice seeing you in these parts! Well, "Borat" is more than a movie - not everyone was an actor; not everyone knew the Borat character was fictitious. One woman lost her job for letting him appear on her news program. He told these people he was traveling the country to learn about the culture. He dupped a LOT of people and exposed the fact that ignorance is still alive and well within the United States.

Have to admit, I was tickled when Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor at the Golden Globes.