The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

48°
The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Borat make for great offense and laughter

Hype has been building for months. Entertainment Weekly, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Daily Show with John Stewart are just a few of the news outlets that have forecasted success for the new movie about awkward Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev. Finally, Nov. 3, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan opened across the country– stirring up controversy in the process. Borat is a fictitious Kazakh reporter played by British actor Sacha Baron Cohen. He is sent to America to gather ideas for reforming the nation of Kazakhstan. Baron Cohen uses this innocent character to create hilarious encounters with real Americans, some of whom are unaware of their participation in the film. One of the first scenes of Borat in America is of him releasing his pet chicken in a New York City subway, leaving fellow passengers shocked. The most controversial aspect of Borat is his attitude toward various racial and ethnic groups. Borat has an opinion on everything, which he typically shares in a blunt manner. His anti-Semitic views dictate his behavior throughout the film, and similar behavior toward women and homosexuals is sure to raise eyebrows. These seemingly unnecessary attacks should be looked at purely for comedic value, and not as a personal insult. “It’s the kind of offense that you should enjoy,” Jew-nior Asa Ritz said. “It’s like running into something and everyone is laughing at you. It hurts, but it’s still funny.” Some groups, however, are not taking such a light-hearted attitude toward the film. Natives of the nation of Kazakhstan, for one, have taken offense to Borat’s representation of their people. “How he uses Kazakhstan’s name to make a profit, I don’t like it,” junior Tamara Abilova said. Abilova is an exchange student from Kazakhstan. She finds the “disgusting” behavior of Borat to be a misrepresentation of the people of Kazakhstan. “I hope people who watch the movie will understand it’s not true.” Another country that should take note of Baron Cohen’s work is, as Borat would say, “the U.S. and A.” Although most viewers will find Borat hilarious, there is a certain amount of delicacy in the topics discussed by Borat and his American acquaintances. On his way across the country, Borat asks for a gun to defend from Jews, which the storekeeper shows him with no hesitation. Also, when speaking to a man at a rodeo, Borat mentions how homosexuals are killed in Kazakhstan. The man laughs, and replies, “that’s what we’re trying to get done over here.” “[Borat] is making fun of ignorance,” senior Yoni Ackerman said. Which begs the question: is America ignorant? Whether Americans should be asking themselves this is irrelevant to Baron Cohen and the makers of Borat. What they did was take advantage of the ignorance they found in the Americans they met, and turned the encounters into memorable moments of comedy. Taken in the right light, viewers will find Borat to be, as he would say, “a great success.”

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
Donate to The WEB
$300
$450
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ames High School, and Iowa needs student journalists. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The WEB
$300
$450
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

The WEB staff encourages you to exercise your First Amendment rights in this public forum. To comment, click on the "logged in" link below. Then click on the Google icon and sign in using your Google school account.

Do not post comments that are obscene or libelous. Refrain from writing comments that use copyrighted materials or that involve personal attacks, insults or threats. And please relate all comments to the story.
All The WEB Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.