More details have been revealed about Judith Dim Evans's involvement in Borat 2.
Following the sequel’s release last Friday (23 October), viewers have heaped praise upon the late Holocaust survivor’s appearance in the film.
The scene in question sees Baron Cohen’s Borat walk into a synagogue dressed in antisemitic clothing. He approaches Evans, who then listens as Borat tells her he read a post on Facebook that said the Holocaust never happened.
Evans then politely educates Borat while highlighting her personal experience.
Ahead of Borat 2's release, this moment found itself mired in controversy when Evans’s estate sued the film’s makers and Amazon.
Evans’s family claims she had no idea about the true nature of the film and that Baron Cohen was “mocking Jewish culture” in the scene.
However, this particular scene was designed to criticise antisemitism as well as the social media site, which Baron Cohen once referred to as the “greatest propaganda machine in history” for “amplifying hate".
It was then revealed that Baron Cohen, who is Jewish himself, had revealed his true identity “for the first time” after considering the sensitivity regarding Evans’s involvement.
Baron Cohen reportedly deemed it necessary to fill his subject in on who he actually was out of respect, and that Evans knew he was “playing an ignorant character as a means of Holocaust education”.
According to Deadline, Baron Cohen was so moved by Evans’s account of her Holocaust experiences that he had his colleagues tell Evans who he was – but only after the scene was filmed.
The family's lawsuit was thrown out by Fulton County Georgia Judge Kevin Farmer earlier this week.
Baron Cohen has now helped the family create a website in Evans’s honour; she died before the film was released.
He is also trying to get her full unedited testimony onto Amazon Prime Video, where his film has become the most-watched in the streaming service’s history.
Attorney Russell Smith, speaking on behalf of Amazon, said that Baron Cohen “was deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Judith Dim Evans, whose compassion and courage as a Holocaust survivor has touched the hearts of millions of people who have seen the film”.
He added: “Judith’s life is a powerful rebuke to those who deny the Holocaust, and with this film and his activism, Sacha Baron Cohen will continue his advocacy to combat Holocaust denial around the world.”
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – starring Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova – is available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video.
Since its release, some of the film’s subjects have spoken out about their appearance, with Instagram “influencer” Macey Chanel saying she’s had a “super difficult time”.
Find out what Baron Cohen’s prank victims have said about being tricked in the new film here.