December 03, 2006

An Israeli view of Borat

Borat looks different to an Israeli audience than it does to any other, for a number of reasons. Here's one Israeli review:

I had heard that Sacha Baron Cohen - he of the grandmother in Haifa and the youth education trips from the UK to the Holy Land - mixed in a fair amount of Hebrew with his faux Kazakh in his box-office hit mockumentary Borat. I'd seen a clip of the movie's opening few minutes on YouTube, where he promises a one-armed neighbor (the genuinely disabled Nicu Tudorache) in his home Kazakh village of Kuzcek (actually Glod in Romania), in Hebrew, that he'll return from the United States with a new arm.

But I wasn't prepared for the fact that just about every "Kazakh" sentence Borat Sagdiyev utters in the entire movie is Hebrew - near-accentless, flawless, slang-filled modern Hebrew. My fellow Jerusalem audience members loved every word of it, heaving hysterically at each idiomatic pearl. 


BARON COHEN is a comedian - bright, inventive and intrepid. Depending on how much of the Borat footage was genuine and how much was scripted, he is also brave. It requires real guts to take the microphone at center field and tell a vast crowd at a Virginia rodeo that he supports their president's war of terror, run with that "joke" to bloodcurdling extremes and top off the performance by remaking the US national anthem as a paean of praise for Kazakhstan and of derision for all other nations. It requires real guts of a different kind to prance around before a global audience in that screaming green excuse for a swimsuit.

But the jokester who would prevent another Holocaust wimped out, nonetheless. Easy to play for fools an Evangelical Christian audience, swaying and clapping wildly in the grip of religious passion. But think of the truly needed alarms Baron Cohen might have set off for his audiences had he tried the same stunt in a mosque.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by David Boxenhorn at December 3, 2006 09:36 AM | TrackBacks
Comments & Trackbacks

I disagree: Borat is a huge joke about traditional societies (that is, Islam) ;

In fact Borat looks and behaves like muslim.

It is like "Life of Bryan" which is a joke about Jesus, only acceptable because the word Jesus doesnīt appear even once.

Posted by: Kantor at December 3, 2006 07:03 PM Permalink

Well, Borat is a good Jewish commedian. Although he should improve his texts.

Posted by: James at December 4, 2006 02:55 PM Permalink

i love Borat!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob at December 11, 2006 06:13 AM Permalink

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