Sascha Baron Cohen's 'Dictator' Finds Resonance in Arab Spring

Banned from the Oscars for fear of an in-character red carpet stunt, British comedian Sascha Baron Cohen has taken to Youtube to slam the Academy with an in-character viral video stunt:

[youtube QIrYdivBRss nolink]

Though this is certainly a topic more suited for discussion at Big Hollywood, Baron Cohen’s film, “The Dictator,” may prove far more relevant than first predicted. Initial reports made it seem the film would satirize Saddam Hussein, a despot long past deposed. However, between Moammar Qaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, and now Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, the film’s timing comes off as extremely prescient.

Though these are dark times in the Arab world, a satire such as this may help the situation in that area. The obvious historical corollary is Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator,” which lampooned Hitler far before the world knew about the horrors of the Holocaust. The importance of this film wasn’t that it provided a solution to the world’s geopolitical quandaries but that it brought a tyrant who deemed himself a god down to the level of a common man. In the same way, “The Dictator” may erode the belief that brutal rulers such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are chosen by God for their position but are as fallible–even pathetic–as any other man.

Read the film’s synopsis below:

Sacha Baron Cohen re-teams with director Larry Charles on their newest slice of satire with this Paramount Pictures release concerning a foreign dictator and a goat herder (both played by Cohen) as they make their way across America. Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, and Jason Mantzoukas head up the supporting cast.