New Movie Sure To Be Controversial … And Funny

The New York Times reports:

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…“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” stars the chameleonlike comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as he impersonates a Kazakh reporter touring the United States, bringing his version of Kazakh culture to real-life Americans.

In one scene Borat insists on driving to California rather than flying, “in case the Jews repeat their attack of 9/11.” As he tours the South, he becomes terrified when he learns that an elderly couple who run an inn are Jewish. When cockroaches crawl under the door of his room, he becomes convinced the innkeepers have transformed themselves into bugs, and throws money at them.

In another scene Borat returns to his home village and participates in an annual ritual, “The Running of the Jews,” complete with giant Jew puppets that the villagers beat with clubs.

This anti-anti-Semitic humor is mixed in with other outrageous behavior, including slurs against Gypsies and gays, and a nude wrestling match. But in a world in which resurgent anti-Semitism has become — sometimes literally — an explosive topic, the movie may well hit a particular nerve, especially in Europe.

The British-born Mr. Baron Cohen, who calls himself an observant Jew, has performed this same high-wire comedy act for his HBO series, “Da Ali G Show,” in which he plays three characters, including Borat, each hilariously offensive in its own right.…


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