Saturday, February 12, 2011

District 9: Humanity

I thought District 9 used aliens not only to question racism and discrimination, but also the ideas of ethics and humanity in general. When Wikus exposes himself to the substances in Christopher’s shack, he immediately becomes sick and the mutation process begins. We see through Wikus’ transformation that the idea of humanity and humane treatment is fairly limited. When Wikus is taken to the hospital because one part of his body has mutated, he is immediately seen as part of the foreign species and no longer treated in a humane manner. As the scientists proceed with testing, all ethical aspects of research disappear and Wikus is treated as nothing more than a research subject. Though Wikus still has feelings and fears, the ulterior motives of the MNU cause them to ignore his personal being. They torture him during his hospital stay in order to pursue their research with no regard for his safety. For instance, in the scene when the scientists want him to shoot the pig with alien gun, they inflict pain on him with electrocution even after his repeatedly says he will pull the trigger. They also force him to shoot an alien against his will, reinforcing the notion that he is not seen as human, therefore ethical treatment is not necessary. While in the hospital, Wikus also witnesses the unethical treatment of many aliens.

1 comment:

  1. This entire post may originate from the last few remnants of PETA propaganda that I exposed myself to over the years but here goes. I find it malicious to recklessly torture any person or animal. There is of course cases where animal testing is required, i.e. medicine, but sometimes the the tests are uncalled for. The scenes of examination on Wickus made me recall what I had seen on PETA's websites and how much it pained me to see anything in that much stress. That's what I find most inhuman. Being able to view something in excruciating pain and feel no remorse. Not to make a bold connection, but is that not what the Nazis did? Indifference to pain is truly inhuman.