AFP: Tajikistan outlaws Baron Cohen’s ‘The Dictator’

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Censorship, Tajikistan

DUSHANBE — The Central Asian state of Tajikistan has refused to show British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s satirical comedy “The Dictator” in its cinemas, claiming they are all full.

The film depicts a Middle Eastern-style camel-riding tyrant played by Baron Cohen. It went on release worldwide this week, opening in other Central Asian countries and Russia on Thursday.

“We do not have space to show it…. We just cannot show all the films,” said the director of a Tajik film distribution company, who asked not to be named.

But critics suggested the decision was down to the film’s provocative content.

“‘The Dictator’ will offend many people, it’s not likely to be supported by our viewers,” said film critic Lidiya Saidova.

Baron Cohen’s earlier film “Borat” about a fictitious journalist from Kazakhstan irritated the real-life Central Asian state so much that it banned the film, although its foreign minister recently thanked the makers for boosting tourism.

Tightly-controlled Tajikistan is the poorest of the ex-Soviet states, with much of its working age population earning a living abroad in construction and agriculture.

It has been ruled by strongman president Emomali Rakhmon since 1992.

Fellow Central Asian state of Turkmenistan also cold-shouldered the film since its cinemas now show no Hollywood films at all, with the only foreign films coming from India, an AFP correspondent said.

Copyright © 2012 AFP.

via AFP: Tajikistan outlaws Baron Cohen’s ‘The Dictator’.

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