Borat: No High Five

boratSo I finally, finally got the DVD of Borat and after almost a year of hype and reading other people’s blogs about what a piece of cinematic genius it is, I have to say…I am beyond disappointed. More so disturbed and feeling pretty icky. I don’t deny that Sacha Baron Cohen is quite an artist in the way he shakes up the norm, but from here on out I consider him less of a comedian and more the kind of performance artist that smears poop on himself to make a statement about the disgusting state of the world.

There’s no question that this movie made an impact, but what was it? I mean, it was huge, made loads of money, everyone was talking about it forever, but I sat there and watched the “running of the Jew” bit without feeling so much as a smile crack from within. I have a sick-ass sense of humor that encompasses the silly to the sophisticated, but I found the whole anti-Semitism shtick very worrying. Even though it was meant to expose the bigotry of the igoramusi walking the Western world, it was like he took an in-joke between us Jews, who know full well there are idiots out there who would throw a Jew down a well if they thought they’d get away with it, and put it out there for those idiots to take literally. Plus, the naked hairy balls wrestling scene made my stomach churn.

Am I the only Jew who didn’t get it?

12 thoughts on “Borat: No High Five

  1. People of all backgrounds didn’t get it, Yo.
    It would seem America finally succumbed to the lowest denominator of potty humor. I’m all for artfully mastered potty humor, but Borat…was not.

  2. I actually saw it for the first time this past weekend. A friend let me borrow it and said I could keep it, so we know what she thought of it. I never saw the Ali G Show but I’d imagine the Borat character worked better as a skit, rather than a feature film. I got the jokes immediately but then had to watch the same joke being repeated throughout the movie. I did enjoy some parts of the movie, though. The bear in the ice cream truck was funny.

  3. Oh, and I think the movie was much, much more scripted than Cohen would have us believe. I think the camera work would have tipped a few people off. We never see or hear the camera man and do not hear anyone speak of him. The shots in anticipation of people’s reactions would also be very odd for a legitimate documentary. It might have been funnier if I weren’t so cynical.

  4. The irony of Borat’s antisemitic content is that when he speaks in his “khazak” language, he is actually speaking in heavily accented Hebrew. The subtitles are correct (and his Hebrew slang is spot on). To hear a guy spouting that crazy talk in Hebrew is part of the genius others (myself included) have seen.

  5. I too had a terrible experience when I saw
    the movie. The audience loved to laugh at the Jew jokes, and I doubted that THEY were getting it and not just laughing b/c they were racist.

  6. Sorry folks, but I and my two teenage boys loved it. They were quoting dialogue for hours afterwards. I can see why many Jews loved it, for all the right reasons, and why non-Jews did too, for all the wrong ones.

    The bear was quite good. The end of the movie was pretty lame, however, but so were the endings of Monty Python’s “In Search of the Holy Grail” and Mel Brook’s “Blazing Saddles”. I guess it’s tough getting off that roller coaster.

  7. I’m still quoting Borat to this very day. A well-timed Borat “High Five” when someone goofs at work, trips, falls, or mispeaks always brightens my day. And of course the classic “How Much?” works better with farm animals and pets than it does on the ladies. I guess the sick twisted folks enjoyed the movie the most.

  8. Hello, I just happened to stumble upon this page, and figured I’d add my two cents. After reading this, I wonder whether I truly understood half the jokes I laughed at since I am not Jewish, but Muslim. I found some parts of the movie funny, specially the classic lines, like high five and what not, but overall, thought the movie had too much toilet humour. Also, I found the whole anti-jewish theme going a bit too far, with all those ppl apparently supporting it. Are these actually real peoples views or were those all actors ? igoramusi 😛

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