District 9

756 Words3 Pages
District 9 is a science-fiction thriller that explores the issue of racism and the ethics of capitalism. The film was written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, a Canadian who was born and raised in South Africa. Blomkamp uses both plot and visual devices in order to present his critiques of both issues. The plot is based on the experiences of Wikus van der Merwe, who is an employee of Multinational United (MNU), working in alien affairs. Van der Merwe becomes infected with an alien virus and slowly turns into an alien himself. He forges an uneasy partnership with an alien name Christopher Johnson in the hopes of finding a cure to his condition. The title refers to the district where the aliens, who arrived on Earth twenty years previous, are interned. The internment camp is comprised of squatter cottages and is, for the most part, a lawless place. The setting, with its stark imagery of abject poverty, draws direct comparison to the experiences of black Africans during the apartheid era (Itzkoff, 2009). Squatter cities sprawl to this day around Johannesburg, Cape Town and other African cities. Under apartheid such areas were designated as the only places where Africans could live. The segregation of the aliens in District 9 echoes the reality of black Africans under apartheid. At the beginning of the movie there is a vignette that features interviews of South Africans giving their opinions about the aliens. The segment features a black African among the respondents and
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