How the Borat interviews work

BBC News has an interesting article on the people duped in the Borat movie. It talks to some of those interviewed by Sacha Baron Cohen’s spoof character:

Spoof Kazakh reporter Borat – aka Ali G comedian Sacha Baron Cohen – is expected to score a box office hit by offending and humiliating real Americans in a new movie.ย 

When a gangly foreign reporter with broken English, bushy moustache and crumpled suit turned up at artist Linda Stein’s New York studio, she thought she was helping spread the word about women’s rights.

Ms Stein, with two other members of Veteran Feminists of America, agreed to be filmed for what they thought was a documentary to help third world women. But then the reporter started talking about his wife’s farm work (“she pulls the plough”), women walking three steps behind men (“it used to be 10 steps, my country is advancing”) and asking how to contact Pamela Anderson.

“I thought I was talking to an uneducated man, maybe from a tribal community,” Ms Stein says. “I mean, that’s how it seemed to me. In our earnestness, we were trying to help women around the world.”

It also discusses how some the interviews were arranged:

Most of Borat’s victims were ensnared in a similar way. They would be contacted by a woman calling herself Chelsea Barnard from a fictional film company, One America Productions.

They would be told about the foreign correspondent making a film about life in the US, with the pitch tailored to each person’s specialist subject.

Then on the day of the interview, they would be presented with a release form at the last minute, be paid in cash and, finally, Borat would amble in, beginning with some serious subjects before starting his provocative routine.

> The BBC News article on Borat
> Borat on MySpace
> Find out more on the Borat movie at Wikipedia