Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of the movie Borat 2 – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which this article will focus on, said in a speech in November last year, “[…] But when Borat was able to raise a huge bar in Arizona state to sing ‘throw the Jew into the well’. That’s when I was able to show how much people didn’t care about anti-Semitism. Or in Bruno’s personality, as a gay fashion journalist trying to kiss the man in the Austrian cage fight, I almost showed how homophobia came to violence when I almost started a riot. And another time when I proposed to build a mosque in the countryside, I was able to show the fear of Islam in the West when one of the residents got up and proudly said, “I am racist, I am against Muslims.” He said: “As democracy based on shared truths regresses, it is rapidly being replaced by an autocracy based on shared lies.”
Images of the Kabataş “attack”, which are said to be released on a Friday years ago and which some journalists claim to have watched, have still not been published. Rapper Ice Cube, who has written many classic songs criticizing police violence against blacks, can come together with Trump under the same project. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, can argue that the moment he put his hand in his pants in the face of a 15-year-old girl, despite appearing openly on Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – and a sizable number of people probably believe it. In short, we live in an age where truth loses its feature of being truth in the face of repeated lies, and these repetitions normalize unimaginable phenomena. In this age, in the post-truth era, Cohen, using the mockumentary form, that is, the fake documentary – by bringing this form closer to performance art, is distilling the details that leave a mark with both his humorousness and reality.
Borat 2: Horrors of America
In the first movie dated 2006, Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev was going to America to write a report about “the best country in the world”. The film, which first turned into a box office monster and gradually approached the status of a cult, was greeted with great anger in Kazakhstan on the grounds that it advertised this country badly. The new Borat movie, whose full name is Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, starts from this point and shows that it has a problem with the facts. Borat, who was sent to a gulag for disgracing his country and worked there for 14 years, is now assigned to correct the negative image he created. This task is to deliver the Minister of Culture of Kazakhstan, Monkey Johnny, to US Vice President Mike Pence as a gift. The film, which has such a starting point, follows the main character and Tutar, the daughter of Maria Bakalova, throughout their adventure starting from the gulag to which Borat was sent.
One of the most striking features of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is the addition of a young woman to the title character of the movie. Through this character, Sacha Baron Cohen not only makes the pressure of masculine domination on women visible in every moment of the narrative, making it one of the main concerns of the film, but also places this discourse in a position independent of geography. He emphasizes that there is not much difference between the mindset in Kazakhstan, where girls are not even considered children, and the anti-abortion opposition in “civilized” America or the republican women whom Tutar “coincides with”, they are all projections of the same perspective that shapes the world. Considering that Tutar’s secret involvement in Borat’s adventure and the film’s exquisite final block are considered together, it can be said that the whole film continues in a parenthesis about the problematic view of women. Borat 2, where Jason Woliner sits in the director’s chair, gains value with this choice as well as the way he fills in these brackets.
Borat 2; winning the hearts of the right-wingers with a racist song he sang in disguise, infiltrating Mike Pence in a Ku Klux Klan costume, his “learning” on Facebook that the Holocaust was just a fairy tale, the unimaginable ideas he was exposed to when he quarantined with two Trump supporters … She was sexually harassed by Rudy Giuliani, whom she interviewed as a journalist, and the advice she received from an influencer to show a weak personality … The father and daughter lived at the cotillion ball, a tradition in which young women were introduced to the high society … The audience was exposed one after another throughout the film not part of the sketch show, thanks to the connected plot; At some point, these moments, which create a feeling that they are evidence of a series of absurdities that are already taking place before the eyes of the whole world, mirror what kind of hell the whole world, but especially America, into which Borat and Tutar fell. Sacha Baron Cohen, this moment, which also functions as the provision of the strangeness that he expresses in his speech quoted in the introduction, traces the situation and the ideas through the two characters that he created and which is not possible to take seriously at first. And contrary to Giuliani’s claim, he does not produce funny or provocative jokes in the laboratory environment; It makes visible what is hidden in America’s galleries, and comedy comes about by making these nonsense visible. This is where Borat Subsequent Moviefilm takes place in the intersection set of comedy, mockumentary and performance art and differs from any humor product produced today. If we think through a comparison, what Cohen reveals about the American political climate and culture in Borat is not less real than what Ulrich Seidl found about Europe in his documentaries; Borat films are also no less remarkable compared to the master director’s works.
In this period when various absurdities turned into political arguments for the design of societies and new media devices were actively used for this, Borat 2 Subsequent Moviefilm was on one of the digital broadcasting platforms, Amazon Prime, which started to threaten the ground beneath the traditional values of films – both in the American presidential elections. Its publication within 10 days also produces a meaning in itself. This preference of Cohen, who has created a comedy that directly wages war on the old, the antiquated, in a completely new way, also stands on the side of the new, adding another layer to the film’s attempt and form to mirror the “produced” facts.