We had a chance to attend a view of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan last week and our advice is to RUN RUN RUN to see it as soon as possible, because by the time the weekend has ended, all of your hipster friends will be quoting it so much that you will be sick of it immediately. You will LONG to hear “Oh, BEHAVE!” after a few days of sexytime and romance explosions, not to mention “The Running of the Jews.”
You should also see it because BORAT is one of the funniest movies we’ve ever seen, and you don’t want it spoiled too much. In case you don’t spend much time on the internet, it stars comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat Sagdiyev, a reporter from Kazahstan who comes to America to make a documentary and ends up trying to marry Pamela Anderson — only he does it Kazakh style, with a marriage sack. Along the way, he encounters real life people who have no idea it’s all a joke, and admit to him — on camera — their own prejudices and medieval attitudes. Who is the real savage here? That’s the question that BORAT answers in stinging, merciless satire.
Why do people fall for Borat? Well, like all great satire, it’s because it’s true. Mahir Cagri, anyone?
In the meantime, we received this press release from NBM which reminds us that if you want to find out what Kazakhstan is actually like, you can read Ted Rall’s THE SILK ROAD TO RUIN:
As Ted Rall reveals in his hilarious “Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?”, the truth about Kazakhstan is that it is a place where women of marriageable age beat their suitors nearly to death in a game called “Kiss the Girl,” and the national sport is betting which of President-for Life Nursultan Nazarbayev’s political opponents will wind up dead in a ditch, tied up and shot multiple times in a “suicide.”
“Silk Road to Ruin” follows up Rall’s award-winning, bone-chilling account of his narrow escape from war-torn Afghanistan, “To Afghanistan and Back: A Graphic Travelogue” (NBM, 2002) with a 304-page collection of graphic novellas and essays about the “Stans” and the many hair-raising, life-on-the-brink trips he took there for various magazines and media.
• Find out about “buzkashi,” headless dead goat polo in which the only rule is that the use of automatic weapons is considered gauche.
• Study the best ways to trick a corrupt military policeman into letting you travel another kilometer to the next checkpoint manned by another corrupt cop.
• Choose your favorite Central Asian despot—is it Nazarbeyev or President-for-Life Saparmurat Niyazov, a.k.a. Turkmenbashi the Great, who has renamed the months of the year and the days of the week after himself and members of his family?
You can read a preview at the NBM site.