In 2006 the mockumentary film Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was released to mixed critical acclaim. While some were hailing Sacha Baron Cohen’s work as a stroke of comedic genius, officials from the country of Kazakhstan, where Cohen’s character Borat Sagdiyev was said to have originated from, thought the film was no laughing matter.
Throughout the years, Kazakh officials have publicly blasted Cohen’s character. Feeling that the film portrayed citizens of the country as “racist, sexist and primitive,” the BBC reports, the sale of the film has been banned and officials have even threatened to sue Cohen after appearing as his Borat character for the MTV music awards. A multimillion-dollar campaign was later launched in order to counter the potentially negative connotations the film may have implied about the country.
In spite of their unfavorable perception of the film, Kazakh officials later publicly thanked Cohen for driving up tourism. While Cohen may have had a hand in the increased interest in the Central Asian country, officials are far from embracing the slapstick humor in the fictional documentary, so when several tourists from the Czech Republic showed up wearing nothing but “mankinis” inspired by Cohen’s Borat character in hopes of staging a photo they quickly founded themselves dawning a set of handcuffs.
Braving snow and cold weather, six tourists from the Czech Republic gathered in the Kazakh capital of Astana in front of a sign reading “I Love Astana.” The tourists were able to take several photos before police intervened and the tourists were taken into police custody.
The photos were sent to the Astana inter-district administrative court for further review. All six of the tourists have been fined approximately $68 for “minor hooliganism,” Aki Press reports.