, hot on the heels of my comments about Borat
comes Salon's research into what was real and what was fake
. It's an interesting behind-the-seasons look, but be warned, it's a little bit of a buzzkill:
Another story reports that Dharma Arthur, the woman responsible for booking Borat on the show, says she lost her livelihood because of the incident. "I spiraled into depression, and before I could recover, I was released from my contract early. It took me three months to find another job, and now I'm thousands of dollars in debt and struggling to keep my house out of foreclosure. The upsetting thing is that a man who leaves so much harm in his path is lauded as a comic genius."
Even more of a buzzkill, however, is an article from the British press which reveals that the producers used a real Gypsy village
(!) to film "Kazakhstan":
When Sacha Baron Cohen wanted a village to represent the impoverished Kazakh home of his character Borat, he found the perfect place in Glod: a remote mountain outpost with no sewerage or running water and where locals eke out meagre livings peddling scrap iron or working patches of land.
But now the villagers of this tiny, close-knit community have angrily accused the comedian of exploiting them, after discovering his new blockbuster film portrays them as a backward group of rapists, abortionists and prostitutes, who happily engage in casual incest.
Disabled Nicu Tudorache said: "This is disgusting. They conned us into doing all these things and never told us anything about what was going on. They made us look like primitives, like uncivilised savages. Now they're making millions but have only paid us 15 lei [around £3]."
I thought for sure Kazakhstan was a set, and Tudorache an actor. (I had been curious about whether he was actually disabled.) This really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.