Movies

Kazakhstan taps Borat movie to woo tourists – ‘Very nice!’

MOSCOW/ALMATY Ridiculed once again in a film featuring fictional Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev, the ex-Soviet state of Kazakhstan has embraced the joke this time round and even adopted Borat's catchphrase "Very nice!" to try to attract tourists.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, a follow-up to the 2006 film featuring the same sexist and racist character, was released on Amazon Prime last week.

Borat's first mockumentary caused anger in Kazakhstan, and the authorities discouraged its screening and threatened legal action over what they saw as an insult to their national character.

But for the follow-up, a slick video has been released by the tourism board featuring spectacular mountains and lakes, with a series of tourists using the catchphrase to signal their appreciation for what they are seeing.

The idea belonged to Mr Dennis Keen, a US citizen living in Kazakhstan. He said: "It is actually the perfect description of the country in the most sincere way. The people and the food are very nice."

Sacha Baron Cohen, the director and star of both Borat movies, said in a statement: "I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the US knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world. The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern and proud society - the opposite of Borat's version." - REUTERS

TOURISM & TRAVEL