Thursday, 3 February 2011

A-Z #26: Borat: Cultural Learnings ...

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a buck each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and justifying why I own the films...

#26 - Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Why did I buy it?

Originally purchased for Sarah. I can't remember vividly the celebratory reason, but - as a present - I had Borat on DVD and two-tickets to see Bruno given to her on the same day. I remember we were training to be teachers at the time in Reading at the very least. We ventured out into the night to watch Bruno - which, though inferior, had a couple of plus points - and, when we got home, we immediately watched Borat. This confirmed the supriority of Borat.

Why do I still own it?

It really is the next step-up from mockumentary TV-series like The Office and documentaries like American Movie. Borat is harmless and yet so offensive - something likeable despite such a ignorant views on others. I'd like to think that people could talk him round about his anti-Jew stance. The thing is, and this is what is innovative about this film, is that it blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction. We know Borat himself is a role ... but is everyone else? Maybe the students 'revealing' the Pamela Anderson video in the van (who, consequently, sued the filmmakers for defamation of character) were real - but the Jewish Guest house? Two completely innocent guesthouse owners mocked and, potentially, their hosue damaged... I think that must have been false. How did they set-up the section whereby Borat virtually destroyed everything in the shop? They may have paid the owner in reality for everything broken - but did the owner know in advance? So, he must've played a role then - acting out his 'shock' at what happened? Whether moral or immoral, it truly blurred this fact or fiction element to a documentary paving the way for I'm Still Here and Exit Through the Giftshop.

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