August 14, 2017
Aliens with Accents. Today’s Retrospective is Science Fiction metaphor, about isolation and separation of “the other”. Today, we review the outstanding “District 9“.
“District 9” is a very clear allegory of South Africa’s Apartheid period. Instead of separating humans by skin color, this time it is about separating non-humans from humans. Directed flawlessly by Neill Blomkamp, the movie provides documentary-style storytelling to make the presence of extraterrestrial aliens seem more compelling than usual. The aliens themselves are truly alien. We’re not left knowing exactly how they procreate or their social structures or their metaphysical beliefs. What we do get is that they are largely like us, just trying to make their way in the universe.
Sharlto Copley plays the “everyman” who is our point of view for the film, starting off as a detached, slightly inept bureaucratic officer, who goes through changes, both physical and mental, to reach a point where not only does he better understand the aliens, but in fact, empathizes deeply with their unpleasant segregation and forced relocation. This is the very same relocation of which Copley’s character is placed as a head supervisor, and gains access to a situation that causes the events that lead the character through his necessary changes for the plot.
“District 9” is an excellent movie, and it feels like it was shot with “guerilla filmmaking” at times. It makes the aliens and the human attitudes toward them believable. Plus, it has that most necessary of science fiction requirements, a good story.
Two antennae up.