This is the first time I’ve seen an alien movie where the aliens and humans coexist in a semi-peaceful manner. All the other alien movies (which admittedly, isn’t that many) I’ve seen are filled with human/alien battles where one species tries to kill off the other to save themselves. District 9 was a pretty new twist for me. I found the beginning to be especially poignant—the humans try to save the aliens instead of wiping out their entire ship when they first find them. Of course, all of this changes when Wickus starts his transformation after they try to redistrict the aliens. While I was watching I found the redistricting scenes to be odd—I kept thinking “Why are they going through the normal steps of getting signatures and stuff, they’re aliens, just move them!” But isn’t that a part of the entire metaphor of Blomkamp’s movie? That sometimes people don’t see the obvious similarities between our own kind and even others and that egos are a huge barrier to a peaceful existence. I definitely enjoyed the first half more than the second; I think the message and overall sentiment got sort of lost in a lot of the gory-alien-battle scenes, but I appreciated District 9’s change of pace from many other alien movies I’ve seen.
In class, someone mentioned District 9 seemed fairly racist in its representation of the Nigerians. While I agree, I also think that the white people working for MNU were portrayed negatively as well. While the Nigerians in the movie were criminals—dangerous, untrustworthy people who scam the aliens and kill anyone who tries to stop them—the MNU soldiers, including Wickus, are inhumane, greedy, and perverse. I believe it’s all in the way you watch the movie; if it was portrayed from a non-white perspective, I think we would all see the more glaring suggestions that the white people are no more than dangerous criminals themselves. Same thing with the aliens—in my head there really isn’t a “good guy” or a “bad guy” in this movie. We feel sympathy, anger, and even desperation towards Wickus, the alien, and maybe even the Nigerians. Blomkamp shows that there isn’t an essential right or wrong way to be, its all in how you perceive a person’s actions.