Frequently Asked Questions
The answer is nearly all of the movie was scripted. "Borat" was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The writers proved to the Academy that most of the movie was tightly scripted, and the 2007 Oscar telecast featured a clip that showed an apparently spontaneous scene with verbatim excerpts from the script running on the screen to prove it was scripted.
You can read an in-depth interview about the writing process here:
Very recently when as a guest housemate in the (AUS) Big Brother house, she confirmed that it was staged, saying it been a long time since the film came out, and that now she can say it. , This is also confirmed by a report in the New York Post's Page Six column (http://www.nypost.com/seven/11082006/gossip/pagesix/pam_was_in_on_borat_joke_pagesix_.htm), which alleges that the Pamela Anderson segment was scripted, although the security guards hired for the event might not have been aware of what was about to happen.
There are also clues that the Pamela Anderson scene was staged: Pamela walks into the store through the front door, past queuing fans. She's also apparently without any bodyguards. In reality, such major celebrities are always brought in through "the back door" and have bodyguards with them. They would never walk past fans alone.
Whilst the movie was being filmed, certain reports came from USA and were published in the British press (where this was already news years before making it big in the states). One such story was of Borat wearing his famous green bikini swimsuit. Photos are readily available showing him on the beach and are used as promotional pictures, even though the only time this swimsuit is seen in the finished film is in the section filmed in Romania. During the original filming of these scenes, Borat had to kidnap Pamela Anderson on the beach and "in action" photos were published of him being restrained by security staff. The fact that this scene, along with the book signing one, were BOTH filmed, proves that BOTH were set up. If one of them were ever to have been "real", there is no way that Pamela or her security would have allowed him anywhere near for a second time.
What is more, as seen in IMDb's "Goofs" section (http://imdb.com/title/tt0443453/goofs), the scene where Borat is restrained in the parking lot of the Virgin Megastore was clearly filmed twice in different locations. Appearing and disappearing between shots are: Azamat, a third security guard in a black shirt, parking space markings on the ground and a white van immediately behind them.
Sacha Baron Cohen speaks Hebrew for most of the extended dialogue, but he also uses simple Polish phrases a lot (for example: "dziekuje" is Polish for "thank you".) The Hebrew is quite understandable, and by and large corresponds to what his character should be saying at the time.
His producer, Azamat (Ken Davitian), was speaking fluent Armenian. Most of the things he says are exactly what the subtitles read (with the exception of grammatical differences).
The person who appears in the Polaroid photos as Borat's son is actor Stonie, a 25-year-old gay porn star who has appeared in nearly 65 adult films.
Source: Radar Online http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2006/11/the-gay-porn-star-who-plays-borats-son.php
Seven, so far.
1) Nicolae Todorache and Spiridom Ciorebea, residents of Glod, Romania, the village used to depict Kazakhstan, sued the filmmakers for $30 million claiming they were misled into thinking they were participating in a documentary about the village's poverty. Todorache and Ciorebea filed the lawsuit on behalf of their entire village. Todorache is the one-armed man who had a sex toy attached to his stump. Todorache and Ciorebea later voluntarily dismissed their case.
2) Christopher Rotunda and Justin Seay, two of the University of South Carolina fraternity brothers shown traveling in an RV, filed a lawsuit claiming "mental anguish and emotional and physical distress". The two men also claimed they were encouraged to drink alcohol by the production crew in order to engage in "behavior that they otherwise would not have engaged in.".A judge has since dismissed the case.
3) A South Carolina man filed a lawsuit accusing Sacha Baron Cohen of invading his privacy by staring at him in the bathroom of a restaurant. Footage from that incident was not used in the final cut of the film but was shown on the internet and the film's preview special which aired on Comedy Central.
4) Jeffrey Lemerond of New York City is the man shown running away in fear when Borat tries to hug him. Lemerond sued the filmmakers claiming "public ridicule, degradation and humiliation" and that his image was used without his permission. This suit has since been dismissed, Sources: http://imdb.com/title/tt0443453/news, http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSN0244908420080402
5) Felix Cedeno of New York City, who was one of the subway passengers, sued the filmmakers for $2.25 million claiming invasion of privacy and that his image was used without his permission. Despite this, Cedeno told the New York Post that being recognized by strangers is "pretty cool". Cedeno later dropped his suit.
6) Driving instructor Michael Psenicska filed a suit against Sacha Baron Cohen, One America Productions and 20th Century Fox claiming he was duped into participating in the film, seeking $400,000 in actual damages and additional punitive damages for misleading him and for emotional harm he continues to suffer. Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSN0437222820071204. A New York judge tossed out this lawsuit claiming he accepted money and signed an agreement releasing the filmmakers from liability. Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7607752.stm
7) Etiquette coaches Kathie Martin and Cindy Streit, (the one Borat handed a bag of human feces to at dinner ) sued Cohen and Fox for allegedly engaging in fraudulent tactics to get them to appear on film. The judge dismissed both of their cases.
Gypsy singer Esma Redzepova announced that she was planning on suing the filmmakers for 800,000 Euros for allegedly using her song "Chaje Sukarije" without her permission. It is currently unknown if the lawsuit was filed or if the parties have settled.
British tabloid The Sun reported that Mariam and Joseph Behar, the couple that owned the bed & breakfast, were filing a lawsuit against filmmakers claiming that their business had been negatively affected. However, in numerous interviews the Behars stated that they enjoyed the film and considered Cohen to be a genius. The Sun later removed the story from their website.
No, it's supposed to look like that.
It is a parody of the old "Memorex" ads that used to say "Is it live? No, it's Memorex".