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Rude Awakening: American Comedy, 1990–2010

Friday, August 29, 2014
8:45 p.m. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Larry Charles (U.S., 2006)

Is there such a thing as cultural promiscuity? Having your way with the countries of the world? Sacha Baron Cohen’s hilarious misadventures take you through an amalgamated landscape of cultural miscues, misconceptions, and misanthropy to emerge, well, not exactly purified, but at least deloused. The titular Borat (Baron Cohen) is a Kazakhstanian journalist out to discover America. Smitten by Baywatch’s Pam Anderson (Anderson), he follows a libido-laden route to sunny SoCal. Accomplished with just a handful of actual actors playing off of dozens of encounters with “real” Americans, the bodacious Borat is like a diplomatic mission from the little nation of Causticstan.

—Steve Seid

• Written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer. Photographed by Luke Geissbuhler, Anthony Hardwick. With Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Pamela Anderson. (84 mins, In English, Armenian, and Hebrew with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Criterion Pictures)