Kazakhstan plans homegrown 'Borat' sequel: report

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The Independent Culture

A director in Kazakhstan is set to shoot an unofficial sequel to British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's unflattering 2006 send-up of the ex-Soviet state, media reported on Saturday.

Filmmaker Erkin Rakishev will direct "My Brother, Borat", a follow-up to Baron Cohen's hugely successful mockumentary "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

The film - which centres on the travels of an American Borat superfan who arrives in Kazakhstan expecting a post-Soviet wasteland but finds instead a prosperous petro-state - will combat negative stereotypes, the director said.

"We want to ride on the wave of success of Borat, to take advantage of this popular image in the West to show people the real Kazakhstan, not Baron Cohen's Kazakhstan," Rakishev told Kazakh tabloid Kazakhstanskaya Pravda.

Borat caused outrage in Kazakhstan, a resource-rich Central Asian state bordering Russia and China.

Authorities banned it from being shown in cinemas as an insult to the nation although it boosted the country's profile immeasurably.

When England played a World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty in 2009, Kazakh fans hung effigies of the character inside the stadium.

By contrast, Kazakhstan sees itself as a fast-changing modern nation which is the economic engine of Central Asia and the region's political and economic leader.

Its ambitions are summed up by its new capital Astana where a string of monumental and glitzy building projects are aimed at promoting the country. Rights activists however have long critised the lack of political freedoms.

Despite the Borat character's popularity, Baron Cohen retired the wildly anti-Semitic and uncouth fictional Kazakh journalist and declined to use him in any further films.

Shooting for the new "Borat" film would begin autumn of this year, Rakishev said, with a likely release date of 2011.

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