Borat Effect: Kazakhstan Adopts Sacha Baron Cohen's Movie Catchphrase to Attract Tourists

Buzz Staff
·3 min read

When Sacha Baron Cohen turned Kazakh resident Borat Sagdiyev for the first time in 2006 'mockumentary comedy', the film ruffled many feathers with its unabashed portrayal of the character, his quirks, which were often called 'offensive' and the movie was also criticized for its caricatured characters and exaggerated scenes regarding the country.

The Kazakhstani government, on its part, had taken offence to the movie's 'anti-semitic misogynistic' portrayal and put up advertisements disputing several scenes shown in the film, especially those on religious tolerance and equal rights for women. Government spokesperson Roman Vassilenko also had to officially deny that Kazakhstanis drank fermented horse urine.

But the film has managed to bring unprecedented boost for the country's tourism industry eventually and that has prompted the country’s tourism department to utilize the new Borat movie when they use one of the character's catchphrases for a tourism campaign: “Very nice.”

The new campaign that came out on Sunday featured tourists at various tourist spots of Kazakhstan and uttering the phrase.

Kairat Sadvakassov, deputy chairman of Kazakh Tourism, said in a statement that the beauty of Borat’s catchphrase is that it “offers the perfect description of Kazakhstan’s vast tourism potential in a short, memorable way.”

Kazakh residents and others loved how the country has since the first movie hopped on to the Borat train and used the movie's catchphrase for its own advantage. twitter was full of praises for the new advertisement.

“Kazakhstan’s nature is very nice; its food is very nice; and its people, despite Borat’s jokes to the contrary, are some of the nicest in the world. We would like everyone to come experience Kazakhstan for themselves by visiting our country in 2021 and beyond, so that they can see that Borat’s homeland is nicer than they may have heard.” Sadvakassov added.

Even though there was widespread criticism and being banned in most of the Arab nations, Russia and Kazakhstan, the film earned $262 million worldwide. Baron Cohen won the Golden Globe - Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for his role in the movie.

Baron Cohen’s films have always invited controversies, backlash and lawsuits. US President Donald Trump recently called the Cohen 'a creep' and said, "years ago he tried to scam me. And I was the only one that said, No way. This guy is a phony guy.’ I don’t find him funny," Trump said.

Baron Cohen’s new movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, shows Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in a compromising position in a hotel room with a young woman acting as a journalist. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday night that he didn’t know what happened with Giuliani.