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High Five! 

Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Larry Charles 
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Pamela Anderson  
An image from Borat

Wa Wa Wee Wa, It's very nice movie!

Tony Clifton

Following Spyz and Ali G Indahouse, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is the hotly disputed, hysterically funny third film written by Ali G creator Sacha Baron Cohen. Released at precisely the time that Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, travelled to the USA for meetings with George W. Bush to improve trade relations between the two countries, the film has caused a furore in the media. It follows Borat Sagdiyev (Cohen), a Kazakhstani TV presenter, and his obese manager, Azamat Bagatov (Davitian), on their travels to the United States. Whilst on his trip, however, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson after seeing her in an episode of Baywatch. A road trip from Manhattan to Orange County in a less than reliable form of transport ensues, with Borat leaving a trail of havoc behind him. Watching him learning good manners at the Magnolia Fine Dining Society, singing his version of the Kazakhstani national anthem at a rodeo, and having a naked wrestle with his round manager through the corridors of a hotel are just some of the many scenes that will have you hunched over and cross-legged in your seat trying not to pee from laughter.

In terms of whether it is too offensive, I would argue that only incredibly sensitive people would say so. Kazakhstan’s president has himself stated, “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. The magic of Sacha Baron Cohen is that he makes fun of everyone, including himself. Admittedly, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion as to whether they find something funny, but those who argue that films like Borat should be banned are wrong. We are not living in repression, so nobody should ever be able to dictate to somebody else what is funny and what is not. Dariga Nazarbayev, daughter to the Kazakhstani president, believes that reactions to the film by Kazakh officials have hurt the country more than the satire of the film. The truth of the matter is that someone somewhere is always going to be offended by something. And in terms of this film, the vast majority of people do find it funny. So, follow the instructions of Borat and go and see his movie film. Is nice.

Ricky Wyatt

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)
2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)
2018/2019 Summer Term (35mm)