Central Asia

Kazakhstan is very nice! ‘Borat 2’ star Sacha Baron Cohen explains why he chose the country

The way Kazakhstan was depicted by the 2006 comedy film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” was not funny for some people from the country. But things changed after the release of its sequel “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” or “Borat 2,” which premiered on Amazon on October 23, 2020.

Unlike the original film, the sequel is positively welcomed by Kazakhstan. In fact, the country’s tourism board launched four promotional videos to invite foreign visitors using the slogan of the title character Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen), which is “Very Nice!”

Along with the beautiful places in Kazakhstan, the country’s heritage with apples and space flights are shown in the promotional videos. The traditional Kazakh sport of eagle hunting is featured, as well.

“We would like everyone to come experience Kazakhstan for themselves by visiting our country in 2021 and beyond so that they can see that Borat’s homeland is nicer than they may have heard,” Deadline quoted Kazakh Tourism deputy chairman Kairat Sadvakassov as saying. Here is one of the promotional videos:

 

Aside from playing the title character, Baron Cohen is also one of the screenwriters of the two “Borat” films. The English actor, comedian, writer and producer could have used a fictional country but he chose Kazakhstan out of all the countries in the world.

“This is a comedy and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country,” Baron Cohen pointed out in a statement released to the New York Times on October 26, 2020. “I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the U.S. knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world.”

 

Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova plays Borat’s teenage daughter Tutar Sagdiyev in “Borat 2.” Also in the cast are Manuel Vieru, Miroslav Tolj, Alin Popa, Ion Gheorghe, Nicolae Gheorghe, Marcela Codrea, Luca Nelu, Nicoleta Ciobanu andDani Popescu as Premier Nursultan Nazarbayev, a fictionalized version of the Security Council of Kazakhstan’s chairman of the same name.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson appear as themselves in “Borat 2.” Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani appear as themselves, as well, but without their permission.

Larry Charles directed the first “Borat” film. The sequel was directed by Jason Woliner.

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