Benign Tyranny

Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator is a kinder, gentler despot


Benign Tyranny. Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator is a kinder, gentler despot.

For a decade, Sacha Baron Cohen reveled in his role as the shockmeister of comedy. The characters he hatched on British TV--belligerent "voice of da yoof" Ali G, Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev and gay Austrian fashionista Brno--turned interviews into outrage, sandbagging politicians with rudely pertinent questions and ordinary folks with his confrontational antics. From these characters came three films: Ali G Indahouse (2002) and the prime mockumentaries Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) and Brno (2009). Borat was a worldwide hit, Brno not so much, indicating that audiences may have been feeling some kamikaze-comedy...

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