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Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Kazakhs 'see funny side of Borat'
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat
The comedian has been threatened with legal action

Kazakhstan's ambassador to Britain has played down reports that authorities are angry over Sacha Baron Cohen's film which pokes fun at the country.

The comedian, famous for the character Ali G, plays Borat in the movie, a Kazakh television journalist.

"Borat's Kazakhstan has nothing to do with the real Kazakhstan," ambassador Yerlan Idrissov told Sky News.

"People in Kazakhstan laugh at the same things as people laugh at everywhere in the world."

He thinks the film may even boost the country's popularity.

"I believe that all publicity is good for business, so indirectly people are encouraged to explore the country for themselves," he said.

In the film, Borat Sagdiyev portrays Kazakhs as a nation of misogynists, racists and anti-Semites, whose favourite drink is fermented horse urine.

'A complete lie'

"We take it as a comedy, as any comedy it is taken politely. It's not a comedy on Kazakhstan, it's a comedy on some other targets," said Mr Idrissov.

But Kazakhstan's largest chain of cinemas, Otau, says it will not be showing the film.

"We consider this movie offensive, a complete lie and nonsense," distribution manager Ruslan Sultanov told Reuters.

"It's a shame that some Americans will probably believe what they see there," he added.

The film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan will be at cinemas in the UK in November.

Kazakhs shut Ali G star's website
14 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Kazakh 'challenge' to Ali G star
14 Nov 05 |  Entertainment

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