It's Sexy Time! Borat Strips America Nude

    Unlike the flock of social satirists who hover like vultures over the rotting beast of American pop culture, British-born Sacha Baron Cohen of HBO’s “Da Ali G Show” fame refuses to maintain a safe distance from his prey. His first full-length film, a hybrid of Michael Moore politics and Tom Green gross-outs, prefers instead to jump right into the lion’s den and wrestle the lion — naked, whenever possible — to reveal such dark corners of the American psyche as anti-Semitism and the objectification of women. The film’s ability to hold a mirror up to the world and reveal prejudices through our own lips (with some prodding) will no doubt earn Cohen deserved global fame and widespread condemnation.

    Courtesy of Fox
    Sacha Baron Cohen, star of “Da Ali G. Show,” uses his full-length film debut to criticize American ignorance, here demonstrated by the blind patriotism of a rodeo.

    Kazakhstani TV personality Borat Sagdiyev (Cohen) and his esteemed producer Azamat Bagatov leave small-village life behind to make a film about America for the education of their native people. After arriving in New York, the project — “For make benefit the glorious nation of Kazakhstan” — is quickly diverted when Sagdiyev comes across an episode of “Baywatch.” He instantly falls in love with Pamela Anderson’s character and convinces his producer to trek across the United States to California, where his new and unsuspecting betrothed waits.

    But the plot is a distant second to this mockumentary’s efforts to dredge the country of its slimiest sentiments. No more threatening than Bambi with an accent, Sagdiyev is outgoing, sincere and uninhibited to a fault; Cohen uses this innocent guise like an expert sniper training on the heart of racism and misogyny in America. “What gun is best for kill a Jew?” he naively asks the middle-aged attendant of a Midwestern gun store, who without blinking responds, “Well, I’d say a 9 mm.”

    In pursuit of “making sexy” with Anderson’s character, the pair visit high society dinners, women’s rights groups, a gay pride parade and even get an interview with “a genuine chocolate face” — Washington, D.C. Mayor Allan Keyes.

    Re-creating a bit from his TV show in which he refuses to be booed off a baseball field, Cohen takes the scene this time to a Texas rodeo. Before singing the Kazakhstani national anthem to the tune of the “Star Spangled Banner,” he declares to the crowd of rowdy cowboys and their southern misses that the Kazakhstani people support their “war of terror,” met with wild applause. Then, unflinching, he decrees: “May George Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq!” To this, the audience cheers even louder. But when the song begins, and they hear their beloved anthem subjected to out-of-tune gloating like “The glorious nation of Kazakhstan is best country in world/ All other countries suck,” the crowd turns murderous, and, according to press releases, nearly forms a lynch mob that Cohen and his crew barely escape alive.

    Cohen heroically stays true to his cause and never breaks character, even during repeated conflicts with local police, FBI and Secret Service agents who can’t help but wonder what this strange man, supposedly from Kazakhstan, and his seven-strong crew of miscreants are up to. They even earn themselves several arrests and a spot on the FBI’s exclusive terrorist watch list. But the product delivers, soaked in layer upon layer of vicious toilet humor, lucid improvisation and scathing satire, acting as much a mirror to Cohen’s extreme subjects as it is to his audience.

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