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Borat 2: who is Rudy Giuliani and what did he say about the movie?

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the shortened version of Sacha Baron Cohen's offering, has Donald Trump's personal lawyer quickly on the defensive.

Borat 2: who is Rudy Giuliani and what did he say about the movie?
TIMOTHY A. CLARY AFP

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. That is the roll-off-the-tongue catchy title of the latest screen offering from British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and in it there is a rather compromising scene involving Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

Giuliani responds to Borat video

The edited scene in question sees the former New York City mayor with his hand down the front of his trousers while lying on his back on a bed. Believing she was a reporter, he had followed an actress into a bedroom. The explanation he then gave was that he was tucking in his shirt after taking off the wires for the microphone he was using. As well as calling into a New York radio show to defend his actions, he posted a thread on Twitter.

‘The Borat video is a complete fabrication,’ Giuliani began his first tweet. ‘I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment.

‘At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.’

The thread continued.

‘In fact, the NY Post today reports "it looks to me like an exaggeration through editing." As soon as I realized it was a set up I called the police, which has been noted in THR article on July 8th.’

Giuliani then looked to spin the story towards a current favourite topic of his, an attack of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

‘This is an effort to blunt my relentless exposure of the criminality and depravity of Joe Biden and his entire family.

‘Deadline Hollywood reports CAA had a distribution screening in September where there was no mention of the scene holding any importance.

‘We are preparing much bigger dumps off of the hard drive from hell, of which Joe Biden will be unable to defend or hide from. I have the receipts.’

Although there was some positive replies to his account of the events, they were drowned out by many more questioning his explanation. And then came the memes.

'Borat 2': a background to the new mockumentary

In 2006, he shocked the world with his scathing cultural satire of the United States in "Borat." Now Baron Cohen is back with a mockumentary sequel that is garnering mixed reviews two weeks ahead of the US elections.

"Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," available on Amazon Prime from Friday, sees Baron Cohen back in character as racist, sexist Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev who once again travels to America.

This time, the plot revolves around his attempts to marry off his 15 year-old daughter to Vice President Mike Pence or, failing that, Rudy Giuliani.

"Sequels don't come more triumphant, or well-timed, than this," said the Daily Beast in its review on Wednesday.

Variety said the film delivers a "consistent, coherent feature-length narrative, punctuated with outrageous, unpredictable set pieces."

Few of the film's pranks were revealed ahead of the release, but reviewers said they include Cohen gate-crashing a political conference dressed as Trump, a coronavirus quarantine stay with supporters of QAnon conspiracy theories, and visits to an abortion clinic and a debutante ball.

"My aim here was not to expose racism and anti-Semitism," Cohen told the New York Times last weekend in his only major print interview around the film. "The aim is to make people laugh, but we reveal the dangerous slide to authoritarianism."

Cohen said he wanted the movie released before the 3 November election because "we wanted it to be a reminder to women of who they're voting for — or who they're not voting for."

While most of the reviews were positive, some found the movie tasteless.

"This joke isn't funny anymore," the Hollywood Reporter said, adding that "the Trump years make him (Borat) painfully redundant."