In light of the hugely successful release of Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel last week, the country’s tourism board has aired a series of new ads featuring the fictional Kazakh reporter’s most famous words: “Very nice!”
The decision comes as a surprise after the country’s government had previously banned Baron Cohen’s original Borat in 2006 over the mockumentary’s depictions of the country.
Kairiat Sadvakassov, deputy chairman of the Kazakhstan tourism board, told The New York Times: “In Covid times, when tourism spending is on hold, it was good to see the country mentioned in the media. Not in the nicest way, but it’s good to be out there.”
Sadvakassov added: “We would love to work with Cohen, or maybe even have him film here.”
After learning that Kazakhstan’s tourism board had changed their tune about his franchise, Baron Cohen said in a statement: “[Borat] is a comedy and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country.
“I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the US. knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world.”
The comedian continued: “The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society — the opposite of Borat’s version.”
Since its release, the film has garnered critical praise for being a timely satire. The Independent called the sequel “a jaw-dropping expose of America in the here and now” in its four-star review.