Six Czech tourists who dressed up in Borat mankinis were arrested by Kazakhstan police last week and fined for being “indecent.” The brainchild of Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Sagdiyev was originally featured in the actor’s HBO comedy series Da Ali G show in the early 2000s – where Baron Cohen would pose as the “famous” Kazakh TV host, who would conduct interviews with unknowing subjects who clearly weren’t in on the joke.
While the character developed a following on Da Ali G show, he gained a massive following with Baron Cohen’s blockbuster movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. In the 2006 film, Borat traveled to the United States to film a documentary (he calls is a “movie-film”) about the American people to bring home to Kazakhstan – but not before meeting Baywatch star Pamela Anderson in the hopes of marrying her.
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Eleven years after the film earned more than $261.5 million worldwide ($128.5 domestically, $133 million overseas) and earned a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination for Baron Cohen, the film appears to still be resonating in the Czech Republic, or at least with six very dedicated fans. According to the BBC, six Czech men were arrested in Kazakhstan’s capital city of Astana after appearing in public wearing neon-colored, lime green mankinis just like Borat did in his film; topped off with frizzy black wigs to fully emulate their hero. See the post below:
The problem is, while movie fans in America and across the world found Borat to be hilarious, the citizens of Kazakhstan were reportedly offended by the film because Baron Cohen (who is Jewish), played the rogue reporter as anti-Semitic, a racist and a male chauvinist, thus creating a bad image for the country. The BBC says Kazakhstan took such offense that the country banned the film theatrically, as well as sales of the DVD, and the Kazakh government even threatened to file a lawsuit against Baron Cohen.
Before their arrest on Friday, five of the six Borat mankini-wearers were captured on camera, and Instagram user zhest_kz posted the image to his account. While some Kazakh commenters found humor in the group’s exploits, at least one called for them to be jailed, the BBC says. According to zhest_kz, Kazak police detained the group for “photographing in an obscene manner,” and an inter-district administrative court in Astana city fined each of the Czech men 22,500 Tenge, which equates to $67 in the U.S.
It’s interesting to see the shenanigans of Borat are still big in different parts of the world, 11 years after the release of the film. Of course, the ultimate validation for these hard-core Borat fans would come with a shout-out somehow from Baron Cohen himself. Maybe they can even take part in Borat’s next movie-film.
Sources: BBC, zhest_kz