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The latest skirmish in Sacha Baron Cohen's relentless, publicity-attracting (and, we have to admit, consistently hilarious), undeclared war on the country of Borat's birth is revealed today by Reuters, who abetted the fictional documentarian's assault by contacting Kazakhstan's largest theater chain to ask if they have any intention of screening the film. Predictably, once they did their due diligence on the question, which primarily consisted of figuring out who or what a "Borat" is, they were less than enthusiastic about the prospect of hosting the movie:

"We consider this movie offensive, a complete lie and nonsense", Ruslan Sultanov, distribution manager for Otau Cinema, told Reuters. "It's a shame that some Americans will probably believe what they see there." [...]

Contacted a week ago, Sultanov, the cinema distribution manager, said he would have to find out what the film was and call back.

It's truly a shame that their cultural gatekeepers aren't keeping an open mind about sharing their eager ambassador's cinematic efforts, however inaccurate, with their own countrymen. Members of the Kazakh populace curious about Borat will just have to hope that some of the thousands of American peasant-sex tourists sure to flood into the country after the movie's release smuggle in some pirated DVDs to undermine this institutional hostility to free speech.

Bonus (pictured): Borat's official invitation to Premier Bush for tonight's DC screening of the movie, with offers of discussion-making at a local power-eatery favored by Washington politicians.