Friday, 28 October 2011

Movie review - District 9

District 9 brings the theme of racial aggression to the surface. "...then District 9 opens the Pandora's box of systemic human cruelty so wide that the notion of one step forward, twelve steps back can certainly be applied." (Wegg, 2010) The film takes a lot of ideas from the history of racism in South Africa and the prejudice on Black people of that time. The director, Neill Blomkamp potrayed the white South Africans in the film to have a strong hatred towards the aliens because they are not willing to fully understand them as living forms and strike out in fear of thier advanced technology. The differences also causes the humans to keep the aliens in well guarded camps, out of sight to the public because they don't want them to mix.

Figure 1, (2009), Eviction of the aliens

In the film, the aliens are also preyed on for their advancements in technology and what their differences could offer to a high bidding coporation. "But despite it's sharp-edged, satirical social overtones, "District 9" is not a political soapbox. it's a rocking, rolling action drama about alien castaways that just want to go home, an evil corporation that wants to capitalize on them at any cost, and one man who freakishly gets caught in the middle." (Pond, 2009) This also relates to events from human history where rich Western cultures tore up Primitive tribes and profited on what they grew and made to sell to the mass market. This is represent in the film with a black gang culture buying off all the weapons from the aliens and consuming their body parts to understand how to use them to advance thier state of warefare. Towards the end of the film Wikus, who slowly converts into one of the aliens sets an example to retailate and the alien captives show the power of their weaponry. The viewer can now understand that the aliens can fight back to protect their exsistence and their right for freedom.

 Figure 2, (2009), Alien Technology

The character Wikus van de Merwe plays a crucial role in the film, to start understanding the truth about the alien culture. "But something happens to poor, luckless Wikus (well played by actor Sharlto Copley), something to change his outlook on inter-species co-operation and respect." (Vance, 2011)
Wikus begins to feel distant from the alien creatures in the beginning but during his conversion of slowly turning into one of them, Wikus seeks a couple of the aliens to hope to cure his condition. Over the time spent inamoungst the aliens, they begin to trust Wikus and he in return protects them as they try to leave on the ship. He learns to respect them as living creatures and not as evil savages like the other human natives in the area. Wikus himself becomes involved in their ways of communicating and using their technology but they are also distant towards him at the beginning but when they see him fighting against the human coporation to come in and save Wikus from the soldiers who try and kill him. By the end of the film the aliens and Wikus trust each other, the audience recognises that the characters are now equals and their racist prejuidce has been forgotten.

 Figure 3, (2009), Conversion


Figure 1, (2009), Eviction of the aliens, @, Accessed on: 17th August 2009
Figure 2, (2009), Alien Technology, @, Accessed on: 24th August 2009 
  Figure 3, (2009), Conversion, @, Accessed on: 12th May 2009


Vance Kelly, (2011), My Brilliant Collision - District 9, @, Accessed on: 12th August 2009
Wegg James, (2010), JWR Articles - District 9, @, Accessed on: 10th February 2010


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