HOLLYWOOD — It was a great day for Central Asia when “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” preemed Monday at the Chinese. Or not.
The Kazakhs are said to have — at best — mixed feelings about the mockumentary, and Monday’s premiere probably did little to endear the film to the “Glorious Nation.”
Preem’s visual highlight was the arrival of star Sacha Baron Cohen in a dilapidated “limo” made from welded-together cars pulled by a pair of plow horses. At the front of the flag-led procession were hefty “Kazakh” women carrying slabs of beef and baskets of apples and children dressed as coal miners. From a small wooden cart, they handed out cups of “horse urine” to the crowd.
Cohen praised the promotion, saying — in character as Borat Sagdiyev — “The anti-capitalist organization Fox has been a very nice. They have sent me ticket to fly here from Kazakhstan in first class on Kazakhstan Airways, which means I am one of the first to use the toilet box when it comes around.”
The preem ran late (maybe it was on Kazakh time) and offered a classic Third World touch: The microphone failed when Cohen and producer Jay Roach rose to speak.