Just in case this piece looks a little familiar, parts of it ran here yesterday before I learned my source info wasn't 100% correct.

Well, we were told it was coming. As I reported not too long ago, the government of Kazakhstan is taking issue with the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Sacha Boren Cohen's new mockumentary featuring his politically incorrect (and that's being nice) character Borat from HBO's Da Ali G Show. The Kazakhstani government announced a media blitz to defend their country's good name, andKazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has gone as far as to say he will personally discuss the film with President Bush. Is it just me, or does that seem like tattling?

As promised, the government of Kazakhstan took out a four-page advertising section in Wednesday's New York Times and International Herald Tribune (as reported by Editor and Publisher). While not specifically siting the Borat movie, the ad addresses some topics that might seem pertinent to Cohen's character. "Religous tolerance," it opens, "is another one of the hallmarks of the nation ... Kazakhstan is home to over 40 religions." It quotes its president: "In the last 15 years, there has not been a single case of a newspaper or television station harassing the followers of any particular faith ... there is an overall atmosphere of tolerance and understanding of all faiths in our society." We can also expect ads produced by the Kazakhstani government to start showing up on U.S. television.

As I said in my previous post, this will be great publicity. At the time I was speaking of Borat, but now I'm wondering if the Kazakhstani government might be stirring all this up for the sake of getting themselves a little PR which might somehow stimulate the country's economy. This is pure speculation, of course, but regardless of how successful Borat is, it will be gone from theaters in a few months. If it were really so offensive to Kazakhstan, wouldn't an "ignore it until it goes away" policy be more prudent, rather than giving the film all this free publicity? I've only seen the trailer for Cohen's film, but based on that it's hard to believe anyone could take it seriously --which, since its a comedy, they shouldn't.
categories Movies, Cinematical