When it comes to responding to parody, a subject basically has one of two options: either they can be angry and indignant, or they can choose to embrace the moment and laugh along with everybody else. In response to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, it seems that the country of Kazakhstan has decided to go the latter path, as they have even gone as far as to change their country's slogan to be a reference to Sacha Baron Cohen's most notorious character in the wake of the film's release.
Kazakhstan’s tourism board has decided to take a surprising tactic in response to the recent release of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, according to the New York Times, and has made moves to make “Kazakhstan. Very nice!” their new message to people around the world who might consider visiting. The strategy is a complete 180 away from the response to the first Borat movie in 2006, which saw the government ban the film from ever playing, threaten to sue Sacha Baron Cohen, and publish a four page advertisement "defending the country’s honor" in the aforementioned New York newspaper.
And it's not exactly hard to see why the reaction was so harsh. Neither Borat movie is exactly a tribute to the loveliness of Kazakhstan, as it is portrayed to be extremely poor, anti-Semitic, superstitious, and generally terrible. But this time around the country is choosing to not be insulted and instead join in the laughter.
Per the report, the Kazakhstan tourism board was initially planning to simply ignore the release of the second Borat movie, not wanting to add fuel to the fire, but the course was changed thanks to a suggestion from Dennis Keen – the host of a travel show in Kazakhstan who was born in the United States but found inspiration to move to the Soviet republic following his involvement in a high school summer exchange program.
Dennis Keen and a friend named Yermek Utemissov pitched the tourism board on the idea of embracing the release of Borat 2, and evidently they made a very strong argument because they got an "immediate yes." They then began working a series of internet spots, which you can watch for yourself below:
It's worth noting that there is a kind of meta throughline in Borat 2 that responds to the country's reaction to the first movie, and it's made plainly obvious directly in the full title: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery Of Prodigious Bribe To American Regime For Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan.
Now that we've actually seen the movie, we definitely know that the prodigious bribe isn't going to do anything to help Kazakhstan-United States relations, but could the Central Asian country end up "making benefit" from it with a tourism boost? Embracing the pop culture icon certainly seems like a good first step.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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