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View Poll Results: Should Borat have to pay damages for misleading and duping unsuspecting people ?
Yes 9 11.11%
No 58 71.60%
Yes in the case of the villagers, No for the American participants 14 17.28%
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Old 11-12-2006, 05:43 PM   #16
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Is this the Ali G 'Borat' or someone else? I haven't opened the link.
I dont think he's ever excluded anyone from being offended.
Yes, it's Ali G. The people in the link are from the Village in Romania, which they used to substitute for Kazakhstan. If anyone in the movie has a right to complain about being duped, it's these people.

I still think the movie is hysterical though.

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Old 11-12-2006, 05:49 PM   #17
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So they're suing him for exposing the way they really behave and the things they really believe? Typical.

It would be interesting to see the content of those waivers.

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Old 11-12-2006, 06:33 PM   #18
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no. open and read the article in the link.
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:13 PM   #19
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I can't wait to see the film. I hate these people who get on their high horses and complain about comedy films 'going too far'. He's making fun of certain groups of people and making fun of himself too. Sit back and accept it for what it is, it's just a comedy film.
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:16 PM   #20
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These people signed waivers. I think it catches people with prejudices and shows how rediculous they are. And it covers a lot of them.

I love it. hehe.
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:39 PM   #21
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Originally posted by mkdominatr
These people signed waivers. I think it catches people with prejudices and shows how i89huhukhjkgthey are. And it covers a lot of them.

I love it. hehe.
I'm not talking about the Red Necks in the film.
I could care less about them.

The ppl I'm refering to are in the article I linked, perhaps you can take a few moments and read it.

The people were duped.

Read the article:

Borat film 'tricked' poor village actors

Last updated at 21:25pm on 11th November 2006

Reader comments (11)

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.

• Watch the trailer for Borat's movie here

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.

They claim film-makers lied to them about the true nature of the project, which they believed would be a documentary about their hardship, rather than a comedy mocking their poverty and isolation.

Villagers say they were paid just £3 each for this humiliation, for a film that took around £27million at the worldwide box office in its first week of release.

Now they are planning to scrape together whatever modest sums they can muster to sue Baron Cohen and fellow film-makers, claiming they never gave their consent to be so cruelly misrepresented.

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].

Cambridge-educated Baron Cohen filmed the opening scenes of the Borat movie in Glod - a village that is actually in Romania, rather than Kazakhstan, and whose name literally translates as 'mud', last summer.

Its 1,000 residents live in dilapidated huts in the shadow of the Carpathian mountains. Toilets are little more than sheltered holes in the ground and horses and donkeys are the only source of transport.

Just four villagers have permanent employment in the nearby towns of Pucioasa or Fieni, while the rest live off what little welfare benefits they get.

So when a Hollywood film crew descended on a nearby run-down motel last September, with their flashy cars and expensive equipment, locals thought their lowly community might finally be getting some of the investment it so desperately needs.

The crew was led by a man villagers describe as 'nice and friendly, if a bit weird and ugly', who they later learned was Baron Cohen. It is thought the producers chose the region because locals more closely resembled his comic creation than genuine Kazakhs.

The comedian insisted on travelling everywhere with bulky bodyguards, because, as one local said: 'He seemed to think there were crooks among us.'

While the rest of the crew based themselves in the motel, Baron Cohen stayed in a hotel in Sinaia, a nearby ski resort a world away from Glod's grinding poverty. He would come to the village every morning to do 'weird things', such as bringing animals inside the run-down homes, or have the village children filmed holding weapons.

Mr Tudorache, a deeply religious grandfather who lost his arm in an accident, was one of those who feels most humiliated. For one scene, a rubber sex toy in the shape of a fist was attached to the stump of his missing arm - but he had no idea what it was.

Only when The Mail on Sunday visited him did he find out. He said he was ashamed, confessing that he only agreed to be filmed because he hoped to top up his £70-a-month salary - although in the end he was paid just £3.

He invited us into his humble home and brought out the best food and drink his family had. Visibly disturbed, he said shakily: 'Someone from the council said these Americans need a man with no arm for some scenes. I said yes but I never imagined the whole country, or even the whole world, will see me in the cinemas ridiculed in this way. This is disgusting.

'Our region is very poor, and everyone is trying hard to get out of this misery. It is outrageous to exploit people's misfortune like this to laugh at them.

'We are now coming together and will try to hire a lawyer and take legal action for being cheated and exploited. We are simple folk and don't know anything about these things, but I have faith in God and justice.'

If the village does sue the film-makers, they won't be the first. Last week, two unnamed college students who were caught on film drunkenly making racist and sexist comments took legal action, claiming the production team plied them with alcohol and falsely promised that the footage would never be seen in America.

Many other unwitting victims of Baron Cohen's pranks have also spoken out against the way they were conned and - unsurprisingly - the rulers of Kazakhstan have long taken issue with the image Borat paints of their vast, oil-rich nation.

The residents of Glod only found out about the true nature of the film after seeing a Romanian TV report. Some thought it was an art project, others a documentary.

The Mail on Sunday showed them the cinema trailer - the first footage they had seen from the film. Many were on the brink of tears as they saw how they were portrayed.

Claudia Luca, who lives with her extended family in the house next to the one that served as Borat's home, said: 'We now realise they only came here because we are poorer than anyone else in this village. They never told us what they were doing but took advantage of our misfortune and poverty. They made us look like savages, why would anyone do that?'

Her brother-in law Gheorghe Luca owns the house that stood in for Borat's - which the film-makers adorned by bringing a live cow into his living room.

Luca, who now refers to Baron Cohen as to the 'ugly, tall, moustachioed American man', even though the 35-year-old comedian is British, said: 'They paid my family £30 for four full days. They were nice and friendly, but we could not understand a single word they were saying.

'It was very uncomfortable at the end and there was animal manure all over our home. We endured it because we are poor and badly needed the money, but now we realise we were cheated and taken advantage of in the worst way.

'All those things they said about us in the film are terribly humiliating. They said we drink horse urine and sleep with our own kin. You say it's comedy, but how can someone laugh at that?'

Spirea Ciorobea, who played the 'village mechanic and abortionist', said: 'What I saw looks disgusting. Even if we are uneducated and poor, it is not fair that someone does this to us.'

He remembered wondering why the crew took an old, broken Dacia car and turned it into a horse cart. He said: 'We all thought they were a bit crazy, but now its seems they wanted to show that it is us who drive around in carts like that.'

Local councillor Nicolae Staicu helped the crew with their shooting, but he claims he was never told what sort of movie they were making, and that they failed to get a proper permit for filming.

Staicu, who had never dealt with a film crew before, said: 'I was happy they came and I thought it would be useful for our country, but they never bothered to ask for a permit, let alone pay the official fees.

'I realise I should have taken some legal steps but I was simply naive enough to believe that they actually wanted to do something good for the community here.

'They came with bodyguards and expensive cars and just went on with their job, so we assumed someone official in the capital Bucharest had let them film.'

Bogdan Moncea of Castel Film, the Bucharest-based production company that helped the filming in Romania, said the crew donated computers and TV sets to the local school and the villagers. But the locals have denied this.

Mr Staicu said: 'The school got some notebooks, but that was it. People are angry now, they feel cheated.'

It's a feeling Glod is used to. The village, like others in the Dambovita region of Romania, is populated mainly by gipsies who say they are discriminated against by the rest of the country.

Indeed, when local vice-mayor Petre Buzea was asked whether the people felt offended by Baron Cohen's film, he replied: 'They got paid so I am sure they are happy. These gipsies will even kill their own father for money.'

No one from the 20th Century Fox studio was available for comment on the villagers' claims.

But feelings in Glod are running so high that The Mail on Sunday saw angry villagers brandishing farm implements chase out a local TV crew, shouting that they had enough of being exploited.

It is small comfort that few, if any, of them will get to see the Borat film. Not a single villager we spoke to had ever been able to afford a trip to the nearest cinema, 20 miles away.

Perhaps that's the real reason why film-makers chose Glod in the first place.

Add your comment | View all Reader comments (11)

11 people have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.

Here's a sample of the latest comments published. You can click view all to read all comments that readers have sent in.

Guess I won't be downloading this one ... let alone pay to watch it.

- Kc, Las Cruces, NM

Disgusting treatment of innocent people! I won't be going to see this movie! Hope others who learn of this will feel the same.

- Mary B, Minnesota, USA

I feel so guilty for laughing at those scenes now. If this is true, I will never watch a Cohan show or movie again.
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:56 PM   #22
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When I was watching it I was wondering if they were paid actors on a set and if not did they have a clue what the sub titles would say.

They were taken advantage of I'd say
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:04 PM   #23
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The moronic frat boys are also suing Borat.

Here's a clue, don't say extremely racist and sexist things and you won't humiliate yourselves.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:08 PM   #24
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The villagers I feel bad for.

Drunken frat boys don't get my sympathy though.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:10 PM   #25
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What Cohen aka "Borat" did was wrong. Whether it was illegal or not was beside the point. It was grossly unethical and cruel. There's going to have to be one hell of "another side" of this story to convince me otherwise.

I won't be seeing this film.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:26 PM   #26
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Newsweek had a good article about the movie and Baron Cohen this week, and I remembered a bit at the end:

"Does Baron Cohen wrestle with his conscience when he destroys the merchandise in an antiques shop, or when he insults the appearance of a defenseless woman at a dinner party—a definite low blow? Yes, according to director Larry Charles. "When we were making the film, we had this almost Talmudic questioning of ourselves. Who are we? What do we really believe? How far are we willing to go? What is our line in the sand that we're not willing to cross? We were constantly asking ourselves, Are we being fair? Do the ends justify the means?" And what did they decide? "We certainly tried to avoid taking advantage of people who would be perceived as the meek or the weak of society. We tried to explore the aristocracy, the elite, the vain, the egomaniacal—that was one of our lines in the sand."

If what Larry Charles says above is indeed true, it certainly goes against what the villagers are saying. Or maybe the filmmakers decided the villagers were a small sacrifice to the gods of entertainment. Who knows.

Link to the full article:

(It's under "Entertainment - Borat: funny but Serious")
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:28 PM   #27
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"Luca, who now refers to Baron Cohen as to the 'ugly, tall, moustachioed American man', even though the 35-year-old comedian is British"

so when someone is a jackass they now get referred to as an American even if they are British?
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:30 PM   #28
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I saw that, too. Gee, THANKS.

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Old 11-12-2006, 08:38 PM   #29
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Is it ok to make films which portray groups of people in a certain particular manner using actors as opposed to real people?

If the villagers were represented by actors and a set as opposed to real people, is it acceptable? This is how most of our entertainment is done. There have been many films which portray people in a certain light or view. So is the objection to using real people and ridiculing them or is it ok to ridicule people but use actors instead which we seen done everywhere?
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:45 PM   #30
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the problem is that these people were completely mis represented. They probably signed waivers and seemingly had no clue what they were signing which should void whatever contract they signed. You cannot have a contract without consent and you cant consent if you are not informed.

If someone used your face and put child molester below it yes you would have a defamation suit.

The problem isn't real actors vs real people. It's consent and if they had known how they would be portrayed it would be entirely different.

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