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Borat spoof film banned in Russia
BBC ^ | 11/09/2006

Posted on 11/08/2006 8:15:32 PM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Russia has banned the hit comedy film, Borat, which has been accused of poking fun at Moscow's neighbour and close ally Kazakhstan.

The film stars British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as a spoof reporter on a trip to the US.

A senior official at Russia's culture ministry has told the BBC it will not provide a distribution licence.

The film has described as a "mockumentary" which follows Mr Cohen's travel across the US.

On the way, he has a series of real life encounters with unsuspecting Americans in which he makes the most outrageous, sexist, racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic comments.

'Not amused'

It has proved to be a big hit in the US and Europe, where it opened last weekend.

Some reviewers have described it as "hysterical" and "the funniest film of the year".

But there are others, not least the government of Kazakhstan who say it is deeply offensive.

One Kazakh diplomat says that the depiction of his country as violent, primitive and oppressive bears no resemblance to reality.

And it seems the Russian authorities are also not amused.

A culture ministry official in Moscow told the BBC it had refused to issue a distribution licence because the film could potentially humiliate different ethnic groups and religions.

The official would not give any further details, except to say the distributors had the right to appeal against the government's decision.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: borat; kazakhstan; nyet; russia; truthhurts
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1 posted on 11/08/2006 8:15:34 PM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
And it seems the Russian authorities are also not amused.

Right....because, usually, they're a lighthearted, humorous lot.

2 posted on 11/08/2006 8:18:28 PM PST by edpc (Violence is ALWAYS a solution. Maybe not the right one....but a solution nonetheless)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Not so much.


3 posted on 11/08/2006 8:19:21 PM PST by pogo101
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To: edpc

" the distributors had the right to appeal against the government's decision."

I'm sure that's going to go well.


4 posted on 11/08/2006 8:20:39 PM PST by CaliPhant
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

The Russkies are terrified of thousands of Borat imitators running all over the place asking the populace why they drink so much vodka and refuse to bathe.


5 posted on 11/08/2006 8:23:30 PM PST by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: struwwelpeter
"One Kazakh diplomat says that the depiction of his country as violent, primitive and oppressive bears no resemblance to reality."
You have recently visited the place for a few months. IIRC, from your first hand account the statement that the toilet paper is mostly unknown there even among the university teachers, proudly stands out. Thus on the "primitive" charge - guilty as charged, right?
6 posted on 11/08/2006 8:29:18 PM PST by GSlob
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Of course, the Russians are well known for their outrageous sense of humour...


7 posted on 11/08/2006 8:39:46 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (The Great Ronald Reagan & John Paul II - Heaven's Dream Team!)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

They'd rather be selling nuclear technology to Iran, and weapons to Iran and Syria.


8 posted on 11/08/2006 8:43:44 PM PST by elhombrelibre (Vote GOP on Tuesday or suffer the consequences of knowing you helped the Dems win.)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

good for them


9 posted on 11/08/2006 8:44:18 PM PST by OldCorps
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To: GSlob

They have toilet paper, except on the train, and all the other conveniences of the modern world ;-)

Here's what a friend has to say about Borat's movie:
"I know about Borat. I saw his unofficial site and movies in Yahoo. In my opinion it's a campany in front of KZ's chiefing in OSCE in 2009. Also I think our abroad opposition supports this campany. I am angry with our Minisrty of Foreign Affairs for weak protests against Sacha Baron Cohen."
Hmmm... I was suspicious about the timing of Borat's movie myself.
10 posted on 11/08/2006 8:46:39 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball


Oh wowowow,we wow, the censors have determined that after a bit that the level of anti-semitism was wrong. After a complete re-edit, they determined it was just enough.


11 posted on 11/08/2006 8:47:44 PM PST by Malsua
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To: struwwelpeter

Having toilet paper and knowing how to use it are two different things. I probably did not make myself clear. Decades ago a Kazakh group in the dorm was leaving yard long used strips strewn on the floor - that much I have seen myself.


12 posted on 11/08/2006 8:51:34 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob
When I was in a village in Siberia, they would take a dump in the outhouse, but place the used TP in a bucket by the bench to be burned.

Now THAT takes getting used to.
13 posted on 11/08/2006 8:55:22 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: struwwelpeter

Cute. Cohen has been doing this Borat bit for a long time. It's apparently modeled after a Russian doctor he once met.

BTW, nice nic. My kids love those stories, although they are a bit morbid.


14 posted on 11/08/2006 9:05:12 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Skog
"Russians drink much less vodka than you think they do."
You might have a point. Venedikt Erofeev, "Moskva-Petushki", wrote that in drinking mere vodka, even from the bottleneck, there is nothing beyond spiritual languor. See his chapter on cocktails. In my time I, a teenager at the time, discovered the purification of wood paint [morilka spirtovaya, uzhgorodskogo khimzavoda] to a barely drinkable condition - and since the knowledge belongs to the people, within 2 months that morilka brand disappeared from all Moscow hardware stores. It was about 10 times cheaper than vodka. And do not forget the colognes.
16 posted on 11/08/2006 11:30:31 PM PST by GSlob
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Skog

"The more they change, the more they remain the same." Check the voltairean French for the original text, and learn to look beyond appearances.


18 posted on 11/08/2006 11:46:57 PM PST by GSlob
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To: struwwelpeter
Give it a month and the pirates will have the DVD available for about 50-60 Rubles on the streets of Moscow.
19 posted on 11/08/2006 11:59:06 PM PST by Centurion2000 (If the Romans had nukes, Carthage would still be glowing.)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Time for Russia to get sexy time.......NOT!


20 posted on 11/09/2006 12:02:46 AM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Skog

It had four full frontal male nudity that was not needed as well.

It will be all over Russia on DVD.


23 posted on 11/09/2006 12:08:03 AM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Skog

I think Russians will laugh their butts off watching the DVD.


25 posted on 11/09/2006 12:14:55 AM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: struwwelpeter
When I was in a village in Siberia, they would take a dump in the outhouse, but place the used TP in a bucket by the bench to be burned.

Unusual for an outhouse, but that is standard practice in places where the sewage disposal system won't handle TP. Whenever I visit the Greek islands there is often a covered bucket by the toilet for the used paper, even in very expensive hotels.

27 posted on 11/09/2006 12:33:09 AM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Guess it's because of my age. What I have seen of Borat I did not think was even slightly funny.


28 posted on 11/09/2006 12:38:37 AM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: struwwelpeter
When I was in a village in Siberia, they would take a dump in the outhouse, but place the used TP in a bucket by the bench to be burned. Now THAT takes getting used to.

This is a Chinese practice as well - at least in private homes. Not in Hong Kong. In China proper. Is it disgusting? Sure. But as long as you stay in hotels, you don't have to put up with it.
29 posted on 11/09/2006 12:58:26 AM PST by Zhang Fei
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To: struwwelpeter
When I was in a village in Siberia, they would take a dump in the outhouse, but place the used TP in a bucket by the bench to be burned.

In Brasil, there were some women, and I mean beautiful women, and I won't go into detail further, who throw the used TP in the garbage bucket and blow their noses in the sink (not using paper.)

Gave me the shakes and still does to this day.

30 posted on 11/09/2006 2:10:07 AM PST by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: struwwelpeter
When I was in a village in Siberia, they would take a dump in the outhouse, but place the used TP in a bucket by the bench to be burned.
Now THAT takes getting used to.


I have never seen that in all of my trips to Russia. However, I have to admit the smell in some of the public restrooms would knock an elephant off his feet. Once in Volgograd, I went in a pay restroom, which was sparkling clean, but the smell was so overpowering I spent 10 minutes catching my breath after leaving the room.
31 posted on 11/09/2006 5:09:56 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Kazakhs speak both Kazakh and Russian.


32 posted on 11/09/2006 7:20:06 AM PST by Thunder90
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To: GSlob

OTOH, there's a reason the Russians called the MiG-25 the "Flying Restaurant" -- it used 500 liters of pure alcohol for cooling and hydraulics. A MiG-25 air base practically lived off the alcohol stores for the plane.


33 posted on 11/09/2006 8:05:33 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

Well, at Khrunichev plant [ICBMs and airspace] the employees once managed to siphon off the entire railroad tankcar of ethanol - they lifted the sealed lid by just a bit, put in a long flexible hose, and tossed the other end of the long thin tube over the fence, hiding it in a large bush which grew there. By the time it came to light, 60 tons ethanol tankcar was completely empty - I used to know some participants.


34 posted on 11/09/2006 12:17:44 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob
the employees once managed to siphon off the entire railroad tankcar of ethanol

That must have been one hell of a party.

35 posted on 11/09/2006 12:23:50 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
It was not a party - they would be coming to that bush with rather large storage vessels [say, about the size of a 5 gal gasoline can], fill those, clamp the hose again and walk away with the filled cans. The thing actually took them a few weeks, for they could not have a pilgrimage to that bush so as not to attract excessive attention. The plant railroad yard people were in on the scheme - they had to park that tank-car in the yard far corner next to the fence and not to disrupt the arrangement for a while.
36 posted on 11/09/2006 12:36:56 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob

This goes right along with everything I've read about how things really worked over there. It's kind of hard to maintain military readiness when the ground crew has sucked all the coolant out of the plane, or because the ICBM plant doesn't have that tanker of ethanol it needed.


37 posted on 11/09/2006 12:41:36 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Wawa-woo-wee...


38 posted on 11/09/2006 12:43:09 PM PST by ShandaLear (Perfect People Need Support, too.)
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To: edpc
There's an old Russian joke, probably from the Borscht Belt heyday, that goes something like "In a Russian drama,
everybody dies. In a Russian tragedy, everybody dies. In a Russian comedy, everybody dies, but they die happy."

I'm dredging my memory, but I think I first heard it from Soupy Sales, back in the 1960s.

And it probably should have stayed in the 1960s.

39 posted on 11/09/2006 1:11:11 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: Calvin Locke

Yeah, I heard some examples of Russian humor from a former co-worker. Great guy, hard worker, but the jokes were....to be kind....offbeat.


40 posted on 11/09/2006 1:21:03 PM PST by edpc (Violence is ALWAYS a solution. Maybe not the right one....but a solution nonetheless)
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To: struwwelpeter

"When I was in a village in Siberia, they would take a dump in the outhouse, but place the used TP in a bucket by the bench to be burned."

I had a friend who went to the Olympics -- not sure when exactly -- and he said they guys from Belize did the same thing. eeeewwwww!


41 posted on 11/09/2006 1:50:44 PM PST by MayflowerMadam
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To: antiRepublicrat
"This goes right along with everything I've read about how things really worked over there."
Well, here is 'how things really worked over there.", with a minimum of poetic license [Venedikt Erofeev, "Moskva-Petushki"]:
...It started much simpler. Before me our work process looked like this: in the morning we sat down and played poker for money (do you know how to play poker?). Well. Then we got up, unwound the cable from the spool and put that cable underground. After that - we sat down again and everyone killed his leisure time after his own manner, for, after all, everyone has one's own dream and character: one drank vermouth, another, who was simpler, drank cologne "Freshness", and the pretentious one drank cognac in international airport Sheremetyevo. And then we went to sleep.
The next morning we at first sat down and drank vermouth. Then we got up, pulled out the yesterday cable and threw it away, because it was all wet, naturally. And then - what? - then we sat down to play poker, for money. And then we went to sleep, not finishing playing.
Early next morning we woke one another: "Alex! Get up to play poker!" "Stasik, get up to finish yesterday's poker!" We got up, finished poker. After that, even before daylight, having not drunk either "Freshness" or vermouth, we grasped the cable spool and started unwinding it, so that the cable would get wet and useless by tomorrow. After that – everyone to his leisure, because everyone has one's own ideals. And - see the beginning.
Having become a foreman, I simplified this process to the limit. Now one day we played poker, another day we drank vermouth, the next day - again poker, and then - again vermouth. The one with intellect completely disappeared in Sheremetyevo airport: he was sitting there drinking cognac. Of course, we didn't touch the cable spool - and if I ever suggested it, they’d laugh like gods and then beat me in the face, and after that they'd go - some to play poker, some to drink vermouth, and some to drink "Freshness".
And for a while everything was OK: once a month we sent our socialist obligations to head office, and they sent us salary twice a month. We, for example, wrote: on the occasion of coming centenary we undertake to do away with work accidents. Or: on the occasion of glorious centenary we undertake that each sixth of us is enrolled in correspondence college studies. What work accidents and studies can be there if we do not see the daylight due to poker, and if there are only five of us!...
42 posted on 11/09/2006 4:37:26 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob

No TP? What do they use?


43 posted on 11/09/2006 5:51:37 PM PST by ItisaReligionofPeace (lookw)
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
"No TP? What do they use?'
see # 12. Torn newspapers have been used [the only proper use for the MSM, BTW]. And in the classical antiquity the contemporaries of Socrates used smooth pebbles, usually 3 of them, if one is to believe Aristophanes.
44 posted on 11/09/2006 8:10:55 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GarySpFc

Does this bring back fond memories?
45 posted on 11/09/2006 9:17:07 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: GSlob

This toilet was in a Ukrainian hospital, believe it or not ;-)
46 posted on 11/09/2006 9:21:48 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace

47 posted on 11/09/2006 9:27:15 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: struwwelpeter

Korea?


48 posted on 11/09/2006 9:27:38 PM PST by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: struwwelpeter

What is there not to believe? I remember an advice tothe job interviewees on plant trips: "Always visit the bathroom. The toilet is the face of the company."


49 posted on 11/09/2006 9:35:45 PM PST by GSlob
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To: patton
That was in Donetsk, but this one is from Kazakhstan:


50 posted on 11/09/2006 9:38:01 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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