6 Years Later, Kazakhstan Finally Comes Around to Borat

The Kazakh foreign minister says the film has increased visa applications by a factor of ten.

borat april24 p.jpg
Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen on tour in Australia. Reuters

Authorities in Kazakhstan appear to have finally found a sense of humor. 

Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov says fictional Kazakhstani journalist Borat Sagdiyev's slapstick tour of America in the 2006 film "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," had increased visa applications to the Central Asian nation ten-fold since its release.

"It was a great triumph for us and I am grateful to Borat for helping to attract tourists to Kazakhstan," Kazykhanov told lawmakers in Astana on April 23. 

For years, Astana had no patience for Sasha Baron Cohen's spoof hack, but now they see he's helped put Kazakhstan on the tourism map. 

The film was banned from screens in Kazakhstan when it was released. In the subsequent years, Borat has repeatedly hit the headlines - usually to the irritation of Kazakh authorities - most recently at a sports competition in Kuwait last month when the parody version of Kazakhstan's national anthem, which featured in the film, was played in error.

This article originally appeared at EurasiaNet.org, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Global

Just In