November 23, 2020

Borat should be nominated for Journalist of the Year

As we bite our fingernails and await the outcome of this election, Borat was able to provide an in-depth insight to the state of politics while also allowing for comedic relief.

No one expected the second Borat. Literally, no one because it was filmed in secret. All of the sudden a month before its release Amazon released a trailer with a premiere date smack in the middle of election season.

The mind of Sasha Baron Cohen is rather complex and admirable, considering he plays a purposely sexist, racist character in order to reveal the absurdity of political ideologies. There were many moments throughout the film I found myself laughing and cringing at the same time.

The movie is centered around Borat, a person from Kazakhstan who is appointed with the duty to offer a gift to the Trump administration in order to revive the economy of Kazakhstan to its former glory. After a mishap with the original gift, he decides to try and give his 15-year-old daughter to someone who is “close to the throne,” or in this case Mike Pence.

His daughter has a dream of becoming the next Melania Trump, whom she looks up to like a Disney princess. She goes through a makeover and they try to get her to seduce basically anyone they could in the White House. There was a point in the movie Borat literally crashed a Republican convention, first dressed as a KKK member and second as Donald Trump.

There was one point the camera crew goes to buy a cage for Tutar, Borat’s daughter, and they make it very obvious that it was for her to sleep in. The owner of the store just laughs slightly and doesn’t say anything, proving the aspect of moral dissonance within American individualism.

The two go across America doing movie scenes with real people who had no idea they were a part of the movie in order to show the complacency regarding human rights abuses and inequality within modern American society. The two even went to a bakery and had an anti-Semitic cake made for Michael Pence, and the owner was smiling proudly as she wrote in the icing.

Eventually, his daughter discovers feminism and does not want to be subject to sexist behavior. She instead decides to become a journalist. During that fight, Borat goes into lockdown with three redneck conservatives in which Sasha Baron Cohen quite literally stayed in character the whole time. Eventually, he goes to a Republican outdoor convention where he tries to find his daughter by getting on stage and singing a very far-right song while looking around to find her.

The camera actually pans over in this scene to a man who hails Hitler in the crown. Keep in mind, this was an ACTUAL crowd in a REAL LIFE situation. This scene showed the audience exactly what Cohen intended, the horrendousness that goes behind the rise of Trumpism in the United States. After looking at behind the scenes footage posted by Cohen on Twitter, I found out he was actually chased off the stage after that scene by a ton of gun bearing republicans who found out who he was. The caption? “This movie was not easy to film.” Cohen, I love you buddy but I feel like that’s an understatement.

What made real headlines is when Tutar interviews Rudy Giuliani. After Borat and Tutar make up, they get an
interview with our pal Giuliani, who is Trump’s lawyer. During the interview, she insinuates wanting to have sex with him. Keep in mind, she is supposed to be 15 years old. This is where it gets bad for Giulani, where the scene shows him reclining on the bed and putting his hands in his
pants. He later said he was attempting to adjust his clothing. Giuliani stated that if Cohen said anything he would be met with lawyers. Cohen responded that he didn’t need to say anything else, the footage was there for people to make their own assumptions.

This film was released in a prime era of American politics, and through satire exposed the absurdity American society is going through. He was able to highlight the anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism and sexism that has seemed to have been running rampant as Trumpism seems to become a stable American ideology. As we bite our fingernails and await the outcome of this election, Borat was able to provide an in-depth insight to the state of politics while also allowing for comedic relief. I think this is what we all need to be reminded of as we cast our votes. Never would I have ever thought I would say that Borat was the best journalist of the year, but then again that’s 2020 for you.

 

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