Romanians in TV/Film – Borat

Cultural Ridiculing of Romania for Make Benefit Glorious Film Career of Sacha Cohen

I’m not going to lie. I saw the movie Borat when it came out and laughed like hell. It’s definitely a funny movie and being American myself, I loved it when Sacha Cohen’s character of a (supposedly) naive and clueless foreigner exposed a lot of real foolishness (and downright racism) of the various Americans in the film.

What I didn’t find quite so funny though was Borat’s “home village in Kazakhstan” was actually a small village in Romania, including the “number 3 prostitute” and all of that.

I will admit, the village the filmmakers chose is quite poor, it really DOES look like that, and the people all around Sacha Cohen that you saw were not professional actors or wearing costumes – they were genuine village folk (albeit most of them were gypsies, an important distinction).

I also didn’t exactly find it funny that the producers went out and chose a village named “Glod”, which according to the official Romanian dictionary, does mean “mud” or perhaps better said, “muddy”. DEX says the name comes from the Hungarian word galád, which can’t be exactly right, as it means (at least) today: perfidious or mean-spirited.

The last part seems about right though, as many of the villagers ridiculed on screen were quite upset about the way they were treated.

On the plus side, If you do speak Romanian, there’s some *coughcough* ahem rather colorful language being used by the “actors” in the movie, which definitely wouldn’t make it past the censor if they were translated into English.

I recently saw the movie Bruno, also starring Sacha Cohen, and it seems like the guy has a long history of completely misrepresenting people on film in order to gain a few laughs.

Whatever the situation, it’ll be a while before he’s welcome in Romania again, I can tell you that much for sure. I just wish he’d pick on people who can fight back (such as Americans) and less on poor villagers in Romania who might be more easily tempted to make money at the expense of their dignity.

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