Saturday , January 16 2021

Kazakhstan accepts Borat’s first phrase in new tourism campaign: “Very nice!”

(CNN) – When comedian Sacha Baron Cohen released his satirical documentary about fictional Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev in 2006, it was banned in Kazakhstan.

Viewers and officials in Kazakhstan have condemned the film’s portrayal of their country, saying it is full of offensive stereotypes and behavior from the titular character.

However, “Fighting: America’s Cultural Teachings for the Benefit of Kazakhstan’s Famous Nation” became a huge hit and won numerous Cohen awards.

A sequel appeared last week – but this time Kazakhstan responds differently.

The country’s tourism board launched a new campaign this week, accepting Borat’s viral phrase “Very nice!” As their official new slogan.

The campaign includes four promotional videos showing tourists exploring Kazakhstan’s local food, beautiful scenery, bustling markets and cities. At the end of each short video, tourists say a variation of: “Wow, very nice!”

The tourism board quickly compiled the videos after hearing Borat’s sequel, and according to the timing of their campaign, it coincided with the release of the film. The campaign is intended to “celebrate Kazakhstan and show fans of” Fighting Consecutive Moviefilm “around the world why they should visit this amazing country,” the statement said.

“The slogan offers a perfect description of Kazakhstan’s vast tourist potential in a short, memorable way. The nature of Kazakhstan is very beautiful; his food is very beautiful; “And his people, despite Borat’s opposite jokes, are some of the most beautiful in the world,” Kairat Sadvakasov, Kazakhstan’s vice president of tourism, told the publication.

“We would like everyone to come and experience Kazakhstan for themselves by visiting our country in 2021 and beyond, so that they can see that Borat’s homeland is more beautiful than they could hear.”

For context: in the first film about Borat, the character greets viewers in his hometown by introducing them to “the rapist of the city” and “the number 4 prostitute in all of Kazakhstan”, his sister.

The film was released at a sensitive time; came just 15 years after the country declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Kazakhstan was still realizing its identity and how to communicate with the wider world when Borat plunged the country into popular culture – not flattering light

Dennis Keane, an American living in Kazakhstan, came up with the idea of ​​using Borat’s phrase in the campaign, Sadvakasov said.

“Just as I experienced a Borat-based ridicule while I was in the United States,” Keane said. “So we were pretty positive that turning Sacha Baron Cohen’s popular character line into a slogan would be instantly recognizable and cause smiles.

They also launched the campaign in hopes of attracting visitors to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has decimated the travel industry, Sadvakasov added.

Tourism in Kazakhstan “took off” after the release of the first film “Borat”, according to the statement – despite initial disapproval from the authorities.

In the sequel, “Fighting Consecutive Moviefilm: Delivering an Unusual Bribe to the US Regime to Benefit the Once Famous Nation of Kazakhstan,” the character returns to the United States on a mission to present a gift to Vice President Mike Pence to win the administration of Trump and the avoidance of the death penalty in Kazakhstan.

It premiered on October 23 on Amazon Prime.

CNN’s Brandon Tensley contributed to this report.

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