Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Borat Kazakhstan - Is it just a funny movie? // Kazakhstan – Is it really the home to religious tolerance and freedom?

An international Hare Krishna group called the Isvara Network has released an interesting video on You Tube. The video features the comments of Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) about Kazakhstan’s religious tolerance during his mock press conference in front of the Kazakhstani embassy in September juxtaposed with footage of the recent brutal destruction of a Hare Krishna settlement near Almaty. While the English language spelling in the short film is somewhat flawed, it is overall a quite effective example of guerilla video advocacy. One has to hand it to the international Hare Krishna movement for its creative use of pop culture and new media to make a point. My first post on the Borat film back in August had suggested that the film could do no harm to Kazakhstan since “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” That being said, that rule probably has a corollary somewhere about a point of diminishing returns – and the following piece from You Tube might have brought the Borat film’s reflection on Kazakhstan to that point….


Anonymous Ed Staples said...

In the New Yorker, 2006.12.04, George Saunders satirizes production notes to the Borat producers. Perhaps inspiration for/inspired by the U-tube thingy:


OPENING “VILLAGE” SECTION: How about a high-speed montage of the actual difficult, brutal lives of the villagers in Romania—the hours of debilitating toil, their oppression at the hands of their corrupt government, premature loss of teeth, death of infants, etc., etc.—culminating in a panning shot of the village on the morning of the day when they first realize they’ve been had, and that, as far as posterity goes, they will always be remembered, if remembered at all, as savages, rapists, prostitutes, etc., and they stumble out of their little sheds or whatever, looking traumatized? (Would be good if one or two could fall into depression/commit suicide as a result = confirmation of their “subhuman” status? Rich social commentary.)

9:59 PM  

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