If I Could Get Away With It: Movie Edition | Borat

I think it is becoming a series. Except I decided that I don’t just want to focus on tv shows. There are also a lot of movies that I think have tons of value but I wouldn’t dare show them in a classroom.

When I first thought about doing a movie post, I didn’t have time to even fully formulate the idea in my brain before I was screaming Borat! Here’s the trailer.

I believe that as teachers, we are the first line of defense against injustice. We are social justice warriors, teaching the next generation the things they need to know to make this world a better place. I also believe that in order to teach them to be better, we have to allow them to stay curious and question EVERYTHING. Even if that means they question authority too.

I know that in our state, satire is really hammered home in English IV. And I’ve always thought this movie (although at points is a bit obscene) is a brilliant piece of satire. In 2006, America was the big kid on the playground that no one really wanted to fuck with. Its 2019…. and well… things have changed. Yet, a lot of the things Sasha Baron Cohen criticizes are still relevant today, in much the same way. It’s actually… really… depressing. <sigh> And in truth, isn’t that the exact reason why this movie would great lesson?

If I could get away with teaching this show, I would use it as an example of satire after teaching what satire is. Because it’s funny, it’s also engaging, and the movie would be used as a jumping off point for a research project: students would have to identify the aspects of American culture Cohen is criticizing and discover the truth behind the humor for those aspects. This would lead us into the harder works of satire that they SHOULD read, with background information so that context is clear.

But alas…

I can’t get away with teaching this movie because:

  • profanity

  • nudity

  • drugs

  • sexual content

  • sensitive subjects

  • weird ass uncomfortable moments

  • violence

  • there aren’t any real “good guys”

Oh well…

Happy Teaching!