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Brüno Angers Austrian Government

brunoSacha Baron Cohen‘s latest film Brüno, about a gay Austrian fashion reporter, opens Friday and the timing couldn’t be better for some free publicity. According to the British newspaper The Sun, Emil Brix, the Culture Minister of Austria, has gone public with his anger about the film. He objects to Brüno‘s tongue-in-cheek references to two infamous Austrian natives: Adolf Hitler and Josef Fritzl, the man who fathered seven children with his imprisoned daughter.

In his statement, Brix said:

It’s totally inappropriate. Everybody should speak up against that. The public will know how to react to this film.” He also said that Cohen’s motives for the jokes were to “create as much interest as possible for his film. It is quite cheap if he fails to do so in another way.

Talk about stating the obvious. Brix might as well object to movie theaters selling popcorn to make a profit while he’s at it. The offended Cultural Minister went on to say that the films by Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke are a much better representation of his country.

That’s a bit of an odd statement, considering Haneke is best known for the notoriously sadistic and violent Funny Games, a film so twisted that he made it twice. While I’m sure Haneke was amused to be mentioned in this context, I think it’s safe to say that Brix has a few screws loose.

Or maybe Brüno touched a homophobic nerve. There hasn’t been any response from Cohen about this, but something tells me he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

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