Monday, February 14, 2011
Distict 9's Social Critic
I saw District 9 in theaters when it came out and reviewed it this week. The same encompassing thought that dictated my viewing in theaters came back during my review. District 9 serves as a social critic on the segregation of races and the poor treatment by those in power. The first clue that this film serves as a social critic is the setting. Johannesburg, South Africa is one of the most infamous cities in the world for the social injustice by white settlers on black natives. The apartheid in South Africa lasted well into the 1990's, and effects of this history are still seen today. The South Africa depicted in District 9 is an apartheid one, albeit with different subjects. Perhaps a commenter can help my theory, because it has one gaping hole. If the director/writer wanted to draw parallels to historic South Africa, why make the settlers, in this case the aliens, those held in apartheid? It does not hold a true representation of the past in South Africa. Other examples of this social critic include the derogatory naming of the aliens, how they scavenge for trash, and their inability to read English. I can't help but notice as well the treatment for aliens by both the black and white characters in the movie. Perhaps this is a comment on how any group/race/ethnicity will control and poorly treat those beneath them in the social order.