Well, this is unfortunate. Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Borat' -- a mockuentary about a Kazakh man who journeys west in what becomes a hunt for Pam Anderson's love -- was a shocking and nervy comedy phenomenon, one that painted a portrait of a country as hilarious as it was deeply unflattering. That country, of course, being America, not Kazakhstan. 'Borat's genius was that it twisted a certain brand of American xenophobia against itself, wringing belly laughs from the sight of people being suckered by their own ignorance. But not everybody saw it that way.
One of the people who found the film's depiction of Kazakhstan and its people to be humiliating rather than hysterical is Kazakh director Erkin Rakishev, and we've now learned that he's prepared to fight back and repair his homeland's reputation the only way he knows how: by making a movie. More specifically, Rakishev is making an unauthorized 'Borat' sequel titled 'My Brother, Borat,' which naturally follows Borat's brother Bilo, who has apparently escaped from the cage in which his family imprisoned him. Follow the jump for some damning video evidence.
Borat hails from Kazakhstan, and the film's portrayal of his small village is... well, it's less than 100% accurate (e.g. despite the film depicting it as a summer event, The Running of the Jew -- as everyone knows -- is typically held in winter). As Borat takes viewers on a guided tour of his hometown, characters such as "The town mechanic and abortionist" make it clear that the film is a mirthful and over-the-top look at how certain Americans might think of foreign nations, even those which count themselves among the ten largest countries in the world. The choice of Kazakhstan as Borat's homeland is as perfect as it arbitrary, because 'Borat' could hail from any place on Earth and Cohen's film would still be a sly ethnography of the USA. If the movie had the unfortunate effect of rendering Kazakhstan as an international punchline, that just means that a lot of people didn't get the joke of a movie about a lot of people not getting the joke.
Rakishev's goal with the sequel is to "Show the real Kazakhstan," but a Kazakh film that seeks to repudiate Cohen's obviously satirical depiction of the country embarrasses itself by definition, as it forcibly defends a nation that was never directly mocked to begin with. The movie's very existence makes at least one Kazakh man look every bit as clueless as the Americans Cohen was actually targeting. Though it's not as if a guy who says that he's going to "Eat Hollywood alive" needs any help to look ridiculous. It's a bit of a bummer that 'Borat' may have inadvertently lowered Kazakhstan's esteem among the world's idiots, but 'My Brother, Borat' doesn't really seem like the best way to fight back (probably because it seems like the worst way to fight back).
You'll be free to judge 'My Brother, Borat' for yoursellf in early 2011, when it's scheduled to be widely available for your downloading pleasure.