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Abstract

Alexei Lalo discusses in his article "Borat as Tragicomedy of Anti US-Americanism" the 2006 mockumentary in the context of stereotypes and clichés that exist about the United States and elsewhere, particularly in Europe. Anti US-Americanism is arguably at the core of this project, but Borat's creators seem to mock not only US-Americans, but also those who invent and practice clichés about the U.S. Lalo draws parallels between Sacha Baron Cohen's work and the legacies of Lenny Bruce and Charlie Chaplin (most notably his late film A King in New York). Of the numerous socio-cultural problems of the United States Borat explores, special attention is paid to the film's take on the relationships between the races and also to the ideology of "political correctness," as it is explicitly and implicitly attacked in the film. Differences between the creators of Borat's approach to comedy and more mainstream conception of comedy in the U.S. are also explored in the article. Lalo suggests that films like Borat are far from being just eccentric comedies or thoughtless entertainment; in fact, they succeed in helping their audiences think about their own culture self-critically and self-ironically.

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