Finally I managed to see the movie with the best title ever: “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. The movie has been described as quality trash and got a lot of controversial press coverage. For some good comments look here and here and here. In my opinion it is a very funny movie but I don’t want to get into the philosophical debates surrounding it. Love it or hate , take it or leave it! Surprisingly, the movie became a mainstream success and has even topped the box office in the United Studies which is quite odd since it is rather anti-American.
By the way: the scenes in Kazakhstan were filmed in a village called Glod in south-eastern Romania which explains the Romanian swearing at the beginning of the movie. In fact not many people know that Romania has developed a quite professional movie industry due to its relatively low production costs. A list of movies that were directed or produced in Romania can be found here.
However, in my opinion Sacha Baron Cohen is a marketing genius.The campaign for the movie started nearly a year ago (or even earlier) when Borat hosted the MTV European Music Awards being mostly unknown outside the UK. The old quote that all publicity is good publicity has been verified. It began with the story of the removal of his website by the Kazakh authorities. Afterwards lots of little movies appeared on the internet mainly from his TV show. Over the summer, Borat appeared frequently in different places always trying to get as much media coverage as possible.
Finally the trailers were released and everyone was thrilled. Unfortunately, it is a short movie (only 82 min). And the several long trailers here and here (up to 2 min 30) include already the best jokes. I was really looking forward to the movie but I guess I was just a victim of the marketing strategy.
And now the controversy continues: The government of Kazakhstan accused Borat again. Russia banned the movie completely. Some of the people that were mocked by Borat want to earn money as well. Borat got beaten up. Even the Romanian villagers want to take Borat to court. And the result at the box office? The second weekend was even more successful than the first one. In case you want to know how this people got in the movie in the first place I found an interesting article here.