Sunday, December 17, 2006

Borat

Musing about this film, in that liminal state between being fully asleep and fully awake, it occurred to me that Borat's name is a conjunction of two words - boor and rat, both of which describe Sacha Baron Cohen's character perfectly. The film was outrageous and funny. The potential for offense was obvious, but muted for me when I realized, early on, that in the scenes in which he was supposed to be speaking his native Kazakhstani language, he was actually speaking Hebrew. An inside joke for the Jews.

In the end, what bothered me the most was not the anti-Jewish elements, or even the anti-women elements, because they were so over the top that they could only be understood as parody. What bothered me the most was that, in posing as a foreigner, he abused the trust of the people he interviewed. That makes him a boor and a rat.

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