Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kazakhstan Gets its Glory with Mongol

A year ago, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscar-nominated Borat made Kazakhstan the butt of a massive joke. The “glorious nation” was not amused.

In true cinematic fashion, this year’s Oscars offer a chance for redemption. For the first time ever, the country has a Best Foreign Language nominee with Mongol.

Russian director Sergei Bodrov says he personally liked Cohen’s film—which skewers pretty much everyone who gets in the way, but Kazakhs didn’t appreciate the joke.

“People in Kazakhstan were very upset, they took it really personally, they couldn’t believe how it was possible to make this kind of movie,” he says. Among the character sins committed against them, the film portrays Kazakhs as urine-drinking, incestuous racists. Borat put the country on the map, but not in a positive way.

“For them [Mongol getting the Oscar nomination] is a big deal. It’s good for the Kazakhstan film industry and for the country,” Bodrov says.

Read the rest full post here.

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