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A modern classic contender

August 25, 2009
By Tony Rutherford
Instead of interplanetary visitors arriving on Earth with lasers and other weapons blazing, an alien ship stalls over South Africa. Mechanical failure likely. Extraterrestrials settled in an area near that nation’s capital, a site known as District 9. Prepare for blasting and shooting, but this science fiction film has glaring and grim recollections of the inhumanity of Earth’s inhabitants.

Confronted by a little over a million tall, lobster-like creatures stranded on Earth, the united powers that be place them in a camp. As years go by, these beings fall into a second or third tier of existence treated by earthlings as an unintelligent, unequal, ethnicity on a level slightly above that of animals.

The visitors cannot get either their ship or weapons to work, so they become unwelcome squatters whose passion for cat food and raw meat erase most pretenses for increasing diversity, understanding and learning from these intergalactic visitors.

Producer Peter (“Lord of the Rings”) Jackson does not hand viewers a warm and fuzzy “E.T.” encounter. He foresees humans at their worst abusing, mutilating, belittling and controlling the society of visitors. Their penned district becomes a portrait of the worst of homeless refugee living spaces that have existed on our planet throughout history.

Aside from Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), the ‘can’t we all get along’ mantra has long been replaced by ‘if they were from another country, but [not] another planet’ mob cries particularly that recollect both the racial segregation period in the U.S. and Nazi atrocities from their concentration camps to experimentation.

Unfolding in a pseudo documentary and newscast one jerky camera style at its opening, “District 9” evolves, widening its perspective so we see the worst of racism, misplaced use of military force and how political agendas prey upon idealistic thinkers partially blinded themselves by their own economic reliance on the government.

Prepare for an unusually adventurous social commentary when you enter the barbwire and walls of “District 9,” which elevates it to  ‘best of’’ pedestals, must see commandments and modern classic contender.

Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com

Fact Box

Our reviewer gives “District 9” four stars out of four.

 
 

 

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