Kazakhstan has responded brilliantly to the latest Borat movie – using the “Very Nice!” catchphrase of the character played by Sacha Baron Cohen to promote the charms of the Central Asian country.
Kazakhstan is the home country of the fictional Borat Sagdiyev, who has been less than complimentary about Kazakhstan country in his movies.
Previously, Kazakhstan officials squirmed at Borat’s descriptions of the country as racist, sexist and backward, so much so authorities banned his 2006 mockumentary, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
Come 2020 and Borat’s new Amazon Prime movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, has been embraced by Kazakh Tourism.
A caption for a Kazakh tourism ad on YouTube, pays tribute to Borat: "How can you describe a place this surprising in just two words? As a wise man once said, Very Nice!"
The ad show tourists hiking with a selfie stick (“Very nice!”), drinking fermented horse milk (“Mmm, that’s actually very nice!”), marvelling at the architecture (“Wow, very nice!”) and posing for a photograph with Kazakhs in traditional dress (“That’s very nice!”).
Sacha Cohen told the New York Times, "This is a comedy, and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country.
"The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society - the opposite of Borat's version."
But not everyone is impressed by the new movie. The Kazakhstan American Association wrote a letter addressed to Amazon executives calling for the movie to pulled from Amazon’s streaming service.
“We, Kazakhs, are a small nation, but it does not mean that we are allowed to be targets for racism," the letter said.
The Borat sequel premiered on October 23 on Amazon Prime.