Friday, September 29, 2006

Borat: Cultural Leanings of America for make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

It doesn't come out until November 3, but it has already received mainstream media coverage thanks to Kazakhstan's legal threats against Sacha Baron Cohen, the comic and star of the movie. They say it portrays Kazakhstan in a bad light, etc. To combat the negative attention they mistakenly thought the movie would bring their country (as opposed to what, no attention? Had you ever even heard of Kazakhstan before this?) the Kazakh government launched an enormous PR campaign in the US. And because that wasn't quite enough, the Kazakh president himself scheduled a diplomatic visit to the US to meet with Bush.

So to fight the bad attention they think a movie will bring them, they take out ads in the NYT to say "No, look, we're really a great country!" All they're doing is free advertisement for the movie itself, and doing it more effectively than a movie studio could have done.

There's a screening for the movie coming up and the Kazakh president is visiting the White House today. Coincidentally, Borat himself showed up at the White House today to personally invite "Premier George Walter Bush" to the screening. Also invited, he told secret service agents, are O.J. Simpson, "Mel Gibsons and other American dignitaries." Not surprisingly, he was denied entrance.

Watch the trailer.

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