And maybe that's what's more upsetting than the smuttiness. It is the systematic dishonesty. Cohen's filmmaking strategy is to lie relentlessly to the real people he interacts with on film.
Take Alabama pastor Jody Trautwein, who earnestly tries in the film to convert Bruno to leave his homosexual lifestyle in favor of Christianity. As the pastor talks of following Jesus, Cohen has his idiot character talk dirty, asking if the pastor had ever put woodwind instruments "up your Auschwitz"? (Cohen, who is Jewish, uses the name of the concentration camp as a synonym for anus in the film.)
Now, here's how Trautwein explains how he was approached about the scene. On Jan. 30, 2009, he received a phone call from a Todd Lewis of Amesbury Chase productions in Los Angeles (a fake firm, complete with phony website). He told him that German One Television (also fake) had hired them to produce a documentary. He said that with the recent rise in Europe of liberalism and increasing immorality in America, German One really wanted to show strong, pure American traditional moral values.
"One of the ways they wanted to do this was they had a young man who was desiring to come out of homosexuality and wanted to give his heart to Christ," Trautwein explained. "He asked me if I would be interested in having them produce this documentary [meant to] alert parents and leaders of young people, and expose the deception and perversion that some in the entertainment industry want to perpetrate against our children, our families and our homes."
Trautwein sat with Cohen's character for two entire hours, absorbing Cohen's abuse. The pastor said director Larry Charles (who only used his first name) praised him when the abuse was over. "He said he didn't think he could have been that patient with Bruno."
So a good pastor is set up and ridiculed because, well, because he's a good man, and nothing else. That's humor?
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