#WTF: The Borat Bust


Photograph courtesy of https://www.jacobinmag.com/

Image of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

After 14 years of speculation, rumor and some rare sightings, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has returned to his iconic role as fictional Kazakhstani journalist Borat Sagdiyev. Picking up where the first Borat mockumentary left off, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm finds Cohen and his costar Maria Bakalova donning disguises, venturing across America to interview and prank unsuspecting people. Diving straight into the heart of current American culture, Cohen interviews QAnon “truthers,” a holocaust survivor, and even attempts to get close to Mike Pence. These interviews provide some extremely offensive comedy for anyone who is interested, but the real highlight of the movie is its controversial ending.

In the film’s final scenes, Bakalova, who plays Borat’s 15-year-old daughter, schedules an interview with Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Over the course of the brief interview, the two discuss standard questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump’s leadership during the crisis. It is when the interview nears its ending that things start becoming off-putting. After leading Giuliani to a private room, Bakalova helps him remove his microphone from his shirt. In response, Giuliani lays back on the bed, sticks his hand into the front of his pants and starts rummaging around. This uncomfortable scene ends thanks to the timely intervention of Cohen/Borat, but that has not stopped Giuliani from going viral.

Following the movie’s release, viewers were quick to call out Giuliani’s behavior in this scene, calling it pedophilic. Giuliani has since responded through Twitter calling the scene a “complete fabrication,” as he was allegedly tucking his shirt in after removing his microphone. Giuliani also called the prank an “effort to blunt my relentless exposure of the criminality and depravity of Joe Biden.” Cohen later responded to Giuliani’s claims in an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. “My feeling is, if he sees that as appropriate, then heaven knows what he’s intended to do with other women in hotel rooms with a glass of whisky in his hand,” said Cohen.

Both Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan are streaming through Amazon Prime Video.