It’s quite difficult to understand what Mercedes Stalenhoef and the Dutch film team that made this documentary intended to do or say. One year or so after Borat made the big splash and ran for the Oscars they went to the Romanian village of Glod (which means ‘mud’ in Romanian) apparently to make a film about the life of some anonymous girl whose problem in life is that she is 17 and not married (apparently the wedding age for girls in the village is 16 or so they say) and who dreams to run away from the place. The villagers remember well the team of ‘Borat’ and vaguely know that the film made it big (which in their terms means a few hundreds of thousands of dollars or Euros, the currency is unsure and does not really matter). Lawyers show up and a delegation is hathered to go to Hollywood and claim from Sacha Baron Cohen part of the money. Of course, they fail lamentably, they actually do not make it farther than London as nobody cared to get an US entry visa for them.

(video source DOXAFestival)

Several films could have been made based on this idea. One could have been an investigative film about the Hollywood team cheating and showing disrespect and especially underpaying the locals. However, they never get tough on the lawyers (besides having them speak an unspeakable dialog about Jews and Gipsies sharing fate) and they never give a chance to the team or studios who made ‘Borat’ to explain their case. They could have also presented the village in its true light, somehow compensate the damage made to the public image not only of Glod, but of the whole Eastern Europe space villages. They did not follow this track either, and the film is actually as disrespectful to the local culture and human nature of the inhabitants of the village as ‘Borat’ was. “Borat’ was however at least funny, it was satire, it played according to rules of humor and satire, here in the documentary style it just looks in many instances rude. It also could have been the human story of the young girl in a remote corner of unified Europe but far from Europe at the same time, trying to escape her condition. This is the closest thing Stalenhoef’s documentary comes to be, but this thread as well is deformed by flaw story telling with the girl exchanging pretendents and than marriying in some kind of a happy end (?)  in less than ten minutes of screen time. With all these accumulated failures ‘Carmen Meets Borat’ (a.k.a. The Village that did not laugh about Borat) looks like one more tentative to squeeze a few drops from the lucrative ‘Borat’ venue. But ‘Borat’ was at least funny – did I already say it?