Originally published in 2009

By John Greenewald, Jr.

“We have been exploring the fabric of America, telling the story of her citizens by visiting the workplace… While in the Huntsville, [Alabama] area, we would be honored to film with the Alabama National Guard.  You are a strong and proud organization that carries out your challenging duties with bravery and class.”

Sounds like a legitimate request to chronicle the actions of the Alabama National Guard.  But little did they know; the true men in uniform were about to get entangled in one of the most feared events for anyone… a visit by Sasha Baron Cohen, and one of his many identities.

In this case, Bruno.

As box office numbers show that Bruno opened in first place this past weekend, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act from the Alabama National Guard would offer a sneak peak at the tactics used by Bruno producers to make the movie happen.

Statements like the above, and, “We have been fortunate enough to film with local sports team and their tireless athletes, artists in the culinary industry, politicians, fashion designers, professional musicians, and many others professional who contribute to the rich and vibrant tapestry of our country,” are only the few ways that producers gain access to whatever they want.

The documents bring up an interesting question widely ignored by some comedic writers and producers.  How far is too far?  At a time of war and national distress, the National Guard arguably more than any other agency responsible for domestic security, should not be a target of such deceiving and misleading projects.

And yet, time was wasted, projects were misrepresented, and the entire day, including the piece that would later become part of the movie, was a joke.

In addition to the tactics employed by the makers of “Bruno,” the documents shed light on the cover production company used by Cohen and his producers, called Amesbury Chase Productions, misrepresented to the Alabama National Guard as a legitimate business. It has since been deleted from the internet.


 Documents obtained from Alabama National Guard [11 Pages, 5.70mb]


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