Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Ben Stein reviews the movie Borat. Here are a few of the points he raises:

2.) Much of the movie is about Borat making fun of people who have been completely kind to him. This is just infantile and narcissistic oppositional disorder. It's also rude, and it's not very funny. Maybe it is if you are five.

3.) Much of the story is mocking and belittling Southerners as a group. When I watched it, I thought, "How unoriginal can you possibly get? This is standard Hollywood fare and has been for fifty years. What is at all creative or new about this?" Plus, I like Southerners. Love them. They are great brave people who fought like demons to beat the Nazis who were killing us Jews. How ungrateful can you get?

[. . .]

5.) Worst of all, it has acute mockery of Christians. There is a long scene mocking Christian fundamentalists, in which Borat makes cruel fun of the idea of Jesus as Savior. He makes fun of Christians who take him in and save his life. Why isn't anyone noticing this? Are Christians just so used to getting kicked around that they don't notice anymore? It makes me very uneasy for a Jew like Sacha Cohen to explicitly mock Christ. It's sacrilege to the great majority of people in this country, for one thing. For another, it's insulting to the great majority of the people in this country who have made us Jews feel so welcome -- unlike people almost anywhere else. When did mocking Christians become the business of Hollywood? Was I out of town when that happened? I don't like it.

The first point, which I did not reproduce, conserned the anti-Semitism of the movie. I point out the Mr. Stein is Jewish as well as being a Hollywood insider.

In the interests of full disclosure I have not seen Borat and have no plans to see it in the future.