Borat: Hollywood's Nasty Talmud Fable
from S ODonnell -
Movie Borat reflects some traditional Jewish stereotypes about goys
Borat: Hollywood’s Nasty Talmud Fable
By Stojgniev O’Donnell
Borat, featuring British Jewish actor Sacha Baron Cohen, is both a powerful piece of ethno-political propaganda and one of the stupidest films I’ve ever seen. Cohen in the cable TV series Ali G Show gained fame for his portrayal of a jive-talking, semi-literate British black, and he specializes in a brazen politically incorrect variety of humor based on some traditional Jewish prejudices. Whether playing Ali G or the pitiful Kazak country bumpkin Borat, Cohen suggests that the non-Jewish nations of the world are, as the Talmud teaches, little more than animals. Cohen himself gleefully demonstrates that the lives of the goyim focus on sexual excess and aberration, violence, bodily functions, and ignorance.
In real life, Kazakstan is both a former republic of the Soviet Union and today an independent nation. The Kazaks are a non-Indo-European Turkic people, though many of Borat’s references, as well as the language he speaks, actually relate to Europe’s Indo-Europeans. Borat’s “Kazak” language in the film is mostly Slavic. Borat is something of a “Polish joke” directed against the Christian populations of Eastern Europe, though Cohen knows well he could never get away with this kind of “humor” if it were aimed directly at Europeans. The movie was filmed in Romania and its dark-skinned “Kazaks” are actually Romanian gypsies. Understandably, Cohen was refused permission to make this kind of movie in Kazakstan. Cohen’s Borat looks much less like a Turkic Kazak than like an Ashkenazy Jew.
Jews represent a key ideological theme of Borat. The goyish world’s irrationality is illustrated in Borat’s fear and misunderstanding of Jews. One of the major holidays of Borat’s mythical Kazakstan involves an annual chase through the streets of grotesque, hook-nosed caricatures of Jews. At one point in the parade a monster paper mache Jewess lays a giant styrofoam egg, which is then attacked and pulled to pieces by happy local children. During their visit to America, Borat and his colleague-producer, who are filming a documentary about their journey, have a chance encounter with an elderly Jewish couple who run a bed-and-breakfast. As you might expect, the only “decent” characters in the film (except for some African-Americans) are this kindly Jewish couple. Borat and his colleague humiliate themselves in various scenes inspired by fear of Jews. Convinced that the couple has transformed itself into cockroaches which are invading their rented room from beneath the bedroom door, the two simpletons escape the Jewish home in the middle of the night. There is also a reference to belief in Jewish compliance in 9-11.
Borat promotes some traditional Jewish stereotypes of non-Jews, while also it suggests that Jews (and perhaps also American blacks?) are the only really moral Americans. Part of the problem with this film is that it addresses some legitimate problems of American society. A genuine documentary comparing America with the former republics of the Soviet Union would reveal some traits that are comparatively “primitive” in American culture. Some of the more humorous scenes take place in the American South, and director Larry Charles demonstrates that the “crudity” of Kazak culture is often matched by the shallow sophistication of Americans. One scene involves Borat’s visit to a fundamentalist Christian megachurch, where Borat is “slain in the spirit” while the congregation in stiff pompadours and overalls hoots, hollers, tap dances and babbles in tongues.
The pornographic scenes in this film are meant to suggest the bestiality of the goyim, for example, as the naked Borat and his obese manager-colleague chase and abuse each other down the halls and the lobby of their hotel. Borat proudly shows his new American friends photographs featuring his son’s penis. The movie ends with scenes of the triumphant Borat back in his native village, surrounded by local admirers and with his new wife, a black prostitute from America picked up through a newspaper advertisement, proudly sitting by Borat’s side.
I was particularly disturbed by the fact that part of the soundtrack of Borat is taken from a great film, Time of the Gypsies (by director Emir Kusturica) and one of the great film soundtracks, by Goran Bregovic. For several weeks I debated whether or not to see Borat. I regret that I’ve made a financial contribution to its success (or failure), yet the film does have a certain unpleasant educational value. While there’s not much stable in human history, one of the few things we can always count on is the Jews’ conviction of their own moral and cultural superiority. Despite the subterfuge of the film’s mythical Kazakstan, Borat is really a story for and about Jews. Anyone who knows the Jews’ traditional stereotypes recognizes the moral here: whether we talk about Kazaks or goyish hillybilly Americans, they’re all really the same dirty, depraved bunch. The world knows one decent, sober, righteous, “chosen” minority, and what’s left over is the irrational, immoral, hardly human remainder.