Censorship

Russia Says Nyet to Borat

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Russia won't let local cinemas show the comedy film "Borat," a spoof movie depicting a misogynist, anti-Semitic, homophobic reporter from Kazakhstan, over concern it could offend audiences.

"We decided not to grant this film a cinema license because there are moments in the film which could offend some viewers' religious or national sensibilities," Yuri Vasyuchkov, head of the film licensing department at Russia's Moscow-based Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency, said today by phone.

More here.

How's this for a possible solution: Borat's creator, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Russia censors meet for a sitdown at Yakov Smirnoff's theater in Branson, Missouri?

Jacob Sullum gave props to Cohen here.

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  1. In soviet russia, film censors you!

    So, it “could” offend “some” viewers “religious or national sensibilities”, eh? Let me tell you this: it WILL offend MOST viewers sensibilities. That’s the point. Why is being offended such a bad thing? Personally, I like being offended, it gives me something to bitch about.

    I’m going to start a campaign to usher in a new age of acceptance, even appreciation, of offensiveness.

  2. Now why would Russia say nyet to the Picasso of Tom Greenes?

  3. After being reminded of Yakov Smirnoff, the thought of banning some entertainers doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

  4. What is russian for “teabagging”?

  5. ??? ????????

    I’m just kiddin’

  6. Countries banning artistic parodies because they’re offensive to sensibilities? I thought only Muslims did that.

  7. Over at NPR, there is a panel debating if censoring speech that offends is a good thing. It’s Left against Left. Quite entertaining and scary.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6249980

  8. Paul Davis,

    Yeah, you’re right. Left against left indeed. Chris Hitchens, that liberal pinko bastard…

    WTF you be talkin bout?

  9. There are 6 panelists on the NPR thing. 5 obvious lefties and Chris Hitchens. Hitchens is, shall we say, definitely on the liberal side as far as freedom of speech is concerned. Indeed, the man is practically a communist in his economic beliefs. He just happens to believe that guns are a valid means of gaining liberal rights for the oppressed, and he views America as fundamentally a liberal force in the world. This comes from comparing what the 300 million here believe and advocate, to what the billions elsewhere do. Compared to Europe, America is right-wing. Compared to pre-war Iraq, or China, or even India and Japan, America is a bastion of liberal thinking. Left against left is accurate.

  10. Borat seems like Mel Brooks meets Michael Moore.

    …If Smirnoff has his own theater, then this really is a miraculous country.

  11. Since when have Russians become so sensitive? Have they been taken over by touchy-feely space aliens or somethin’.

  12. It shows how rotten and ignorant you are if you find it a comedy , or farce or any kind of art. Such movies ( you can’t even call this piece of garbage a movie )should be banned everywhere in the world.

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