Kazakhstan’s tourist board is embracing mockumentary character Borat with a new promo video in a bid to attract visitors.
The video shows five tourists using Borat’s infamous catchphrase — “very nice!” — as they admire the breathtaking views of Kazakhstan’s mountains, the capital city’s modern architecture, and the country’s traditional costumes.
The 2006 comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which followed actor Sascha Baron Cohen as the titular Kazakh journalist as he travelled across the US, mocked the Central Asian people as misogynistic, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. The enraged Kazakh government fought back at the time by commissioning a $50 million epic called Nomad, as well as creating a supplement in The New York Times presenting the country as modern, outward-looking, and ready for foreign investment.
The 2020 campaign follows the release of Borat’s sequel Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on 23 October — but this time, the witty response was cooked up by Almaty-based American guide, Dennis Keen, who pitched it to the Kazakh tourism board during lockdown.
The catchphrase “offers the perfect description of Kazakhstan’s vast tourism potential in a short, memorable way,” Kairat Sadvakassov, the deputy chairman of Kazakh Tourism, told the Huffington Post.
“Kazakhstan’s nature is very nice; its food is very nice; and its people, despite Borat’s jokes to the contrary, are some of the nicest in the world. We would like everyone to come experience Kazakhstan for themselves by visiting our country in 2021 and beyond, so that they can see that Borat’s homeland is nicer than they may have heard,” he said.