When Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) speaks Kazakh, it is mostly Hebrew disguised by a heavy fake Eastern European accent. The Hebrew is quite understandable and contains many in-jokes. Baron Cohen admitted this in a rare "out of character" radio interview on National Public Radio in the United States.
At a shooting event in Kuwait where Kazakh shooter Maria Dmitrienko won the gold medal, the Asian Olympic Committee accidentally played Borat's parody of the Kazakhstan national anthem in the medal ceremony instead of the actual one. Kazakh officials heavily protested, and a re-run of the medal ceremony took place. To prevent the same embarrassment from happening at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Kazakhstan government specially guided the London Games Organizing committee on the right national anthem. Since most of the athletes in the Kazakh team are Russians and do not speak Kazakh, they were specially trained in the national anthem to prevent a re-run of the goof-up.
Rupert Murdoch announced in early February 2007 that Sacha Baron Cohen had signed on to do another Borat film with FOX. This was contradicted, however, by an interview with Baron Cohen himself stating that Borat (2006) was to be discontinued, as he was now too well-known to avoid detection as he did in the film and on Da Ali G Show (2003). A spokesman for FOX later stated that it was too early to begin planning such a film, although they still remained open to the idea. Baron Cohen subsequently announced that he was "killing off" the characters of Borat and Ali G because they were now so famous, he could no longer trick people.
The character of "Borat" was heavily criticized by the Kazakh government, being "a concoction of bad taste and ill manners, which is incompatible with the ethics and civilized behavior of Kazakhstan's people." Sacha Baron Cohen, who played Borat, gave a fake press conference at the White House gates on September 29, 2006, just one day before an official visit of Kazakhstan's president. The Kazakh government hired two Western public relations firms to counter Borat's claims, running a four-page advertisement in The New York Times, implicitly rebutting many of the claims made by Borat. Kazahkstan has since changed their strategy by playing along, going so far as inviting Borat to visit Kazahkstan.
The Region 1 and 2 DVDs are made to look like pirated versions of the film. They come on "Demorez" brand discs with the slogan, "Is life? No. Demorez." The "Demorez" fake brand and slogan are meant to be spoofs of the real-life "Memorex" blank recordable DVDs, whose slogan was "Is it live? No, it's Memorex."
The village in Kazakhstan is called "Glod" and it is located in the Dambovita region of Romania. "Glod" literally translates from the Romanian language into the English language as "mud." Reportedly, villagers of the Romanian town said they were paid just UK £3 each.
The nude photos Borat shows to the etiquette coach of his teenage son are actually photos of gay porn star Stonie. The producers chose him because they wanted someone who "easily looked 13-14 years old," but was actually of legal age and willing to do frontal nudity.
Most of the footage from the Kazakh national anthem segment at the end of the film is made up of 1980s-era Estonian TV commercials. It also features a number of political figures, such as the current president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, among them.
The subtitles in Borat are Cyrillic subtitles. Most of these subtitles are actually Cyrillic, but they contain many errors, mostly the incorrect use of Cyrillic letters. Some subtitles make no sense. For example, the gay pride parade subtitle reads, "Meal Society of the 'Magnolia' manor." Some subtitles are nothing more than a random stream of Cyrillic letters, for example the title of the Kazakh TV channel at the beginning of the movie, and the supposedly Kazakh title of the movie later. The geographical names on the maps are almost all gibberish, except for the names in the largest print, such as "America" or "London." Ironically, the Cyrillic text used for the names that appear during the end credits is quite correct.
The European Center for Antiziganism Research, which works against negative attitudes against Roma and Sinti people, accused the producers of defamation and inciting violence against the ethnic group. Thus, it filed a complaint with prosecutors in Germany (October 2006).
Oxana the Bear was portrayed by two animals, Charlie and Chester, who had both previously acted a few years earlier in the tele-movie A Bear Named Winnie (2004), and about exactly a decade after Borat (2006), both appeared in the feature film The Unseen (2016).
For the film's U.S. television premiere on USA Network in June 2009, the film was presented largely uncut, including the infamous nude wrestling and chase between Borat and Azamat, which is censored with black bars, but several of the harshest profanities and sexual terms are silenced, and a label reading "CENZURAT" appears over mouths (and, where necessary, subtitles) in order to try and further hide which terms are being used.
An article by Bojan Pancevski and Carmiola Ionescu, published in the U.K.'s Mail on Sunday on 11th November 2006, reported that the town of Glod in Romania, which plays Borat's hometown in Kazakhstan, had "...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."
The turboprop aircraft in which Borat is depicted as flying, is apparently wearing livery that includes Cyrillic-looking letters. The airplane is a Lockheed L-188 Electra, wearing Eastern Airlines livery of the late 1950s to early 1960s, and the image is reversed. Airlines then considered it important to trumpet using any turbine-powered engines as "jets." Thus, the letters on the fuselage read, "FLY-EASTERN AIRLINES PROP-JET ELECTRA."
The unusual route that Borat takes to fly from Kazakhstan to America makes the following stops: Moscow, Northern Turkey, Central Algeria, Kiev (Ukraine), Southwestern Russia (possibly Rostov or Sochi--the latter soon to host the 2014 Winter Olympics), Helsinki (Finland), Southern Greenland, and finally to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City.
It ranks in the second place as being one of the longest film titles to ever receive an Oscar nomination, with 12 words to its count. The longest film title that got an Oscar nomination was Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971), which has 14 words. However, Borat gives the appearance of being the longest title since all of its words were fully translated in many others countries as opposed to the other film which received different and less wordy titles.
In May 2010, Danny Passmore, the self-defense instructor featured in the "American Hobbies" scene, was arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting a student. Passmore was eventually released from prison after failing to be indicted within 90 days of his arrest.
The original scheduled release date in the U.S. of Sacha Baron Cohen's later movie, The Brothers Grimsby (2016), was July 31, 2016. This was the date that the 128th IOC (International Olympic Committee) Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia decided on who would host the XXIV Olympic Winter Games where Almaty, Kazakhstan lost to Beijing, China by four votes, with China winning 44 votes to Kazakhstan 40 votes.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
When Borat is trying to kidnap Pamela Anderson, none of her bodyguards knew about the premise of the film, which is why they tackled Borat, with such force and authority. However, Pamela Anderson was in on the gag, and really hammed it up.