NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan says it will simply ignore the premiere at the end of the month of the sequel to “Borat,” the controversial 2006 satire about a Kazakh journalist obsessed with former US President George W. Bush and whose distribution was banned in the Central Asian country.
“There will be no official comments on the launch of the new movie ‘Borat 2.’ We are simply ignoring it,” a representative of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry told EFE.
The Amazon Prime platform will launch on Oct. 23, just before the US presidential elections, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” also known as “Borat 2.”
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, 48, reprises his satirical character Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakh journalist, misogynist and racist who sparked controversy wherever he premiered the original film, shot as a mockumentary.
Since it is being broadcast on Amazon Prime, the Kazakh Ministry of Culture cannot ban the film.
While Kazakh authorities remain silent, on social networks the sequel has caused a wave of indignation, with some users complaining about the “cultural appropriation” of “Borat” and “Borat 2” and pointing out that Kazakhs are friendly and hospitable.
The most active Internet users have created an online petition to urge Amazon Prime not to broadcast the film and have called for a boycott. They also demand an apology from Baron Cohen.
Most of the young people who have signed the petition (so far more than 100,000) complain that the film does not reflect the reality of Kazakhstan and creates a misconception of the Kazakhs.
On Sunday, New York police officer Dimash Niyazov, of Kazakh origin, organized a peaceful protest because “the people who made this film do not respect our nation, our culture, our history,” he told EFE via social networks.
He said that the film “created a stigma towards Kazakhs” and that Kazakhs are “much better than Borat.”
The Kazakh political scientist Eduard Poletaev told EFE that the silence of the Kazakh government has its logic, because the more noise made the more interest the film will arouse.
In the name of good taste, Poletaev recommends that filmmakers not use a specific country for their satires.