Cohen’s “Borat” has technical difficulties at Toronto Film Festival

TORONTO – Sacha Baron Cohen couldn’t have scripted it better –a premiere complete with sturdy babushka headed women pulling him in a run down cart to the scene of the screening – a plush auditorium on the opening night of the Toronto film festival.

Yet disaster struck during the midnight screening Cohen’s film, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”, which was killing the audience, riotous laughter up until the projector quit working 20 minutes into the film, turning hilarity into heartbreak, with a quick thinking Cohen doing some fast improvising.

“I will apology on behalf of Kazakhstan for this little mistake,” Cohen told the crowd in the voice of his alter ego, Borat Sagdiyev, the Kazakh journalist who is the star of the film.

The London born comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen caused an international stir with the government of Kazakhstan.  Cohen plays three principal characters on HBO’s “Da Ali G Show.”   His Borat character is currently building a bit of controversy.

The country of Kazakhstan is now feeling the brunt of Cohen’s satire with another famous creation, Khazakstani TV reporter, Borat.

Always armed with a live mic and a misplaced sense of lust for his sister, Borat searches for porn, and reels in American targets for his scatological humor and unabashed anti-Semitism. The Borat trademark is to capture political and religious leaders with inappropriate and silly questions in staged interviews – the victim unaware and unprepared.

In the upcoming release of “Borat” this fall, Cohen’s Kazakhstani TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. With a documentary crew in tow, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson.

New York magazine reports the Kazakhstan embassy and government are scrambling to address the upcoming release, and have entertained the idea of buying ad time on air in the US to educate Americans about the “real Kazakhstan.”

Embassy spokesman Roman Vassilenko says “the government is divided on how to respond.”  Government hard-liners who are outraged over the impending Borat film have yanked the website.

New York magazine reports Cohen’s response to Kazakhstan simply as Borat claiming to “fully support my government’s decision to sue this Jew.”

Reporter Geoffrey Gray for New York magazine reports that any further muzzling of Borat by government officials are “Sovietesque and will only goad Cohen on.”


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