Monday, August 17, 2009

District 9

"District 9" came out this past weekend, to many accolades. My inputs have been overflowing with praise -- oodles of positive tweets, the question "District 9 best sci-fi movie of 09?", reccommendations from friends -- and I'd like to add my two cents:

Don't watch it.

It's sad.

Really sad.

It's the saddest movie I've ever seen with that many explosions and aliens.

The preview, and the word-of-mouth praise, set up my expectations for a well-done science fiction/action movie: I expected aliens, guns, and explosions. The ad campaign (which started four or five months ago with "humans only" signs posted on bus stops) made me expect a little bit of alien/human segregation, you know, as a light topic in an otherwise science-fiction film. Let me clear up your confusion if you have similar ideas:

This is a movie about apartheid, racism, and humanity's (and individual human beings') limitless abillity for xenophobia, racism-based murder (think: holocaust) and even genocide.

Sound like heavy topics? They're given a heavy-handed treatment, too. Set in Johannesburg, the aliens are confined to a slum surrounded with barbed wire. I don't think anyone ever said "ghetto," but the words "concentration camp" were used.

This has been widely discussed online:
The CG was good, and interesting -- they have figured out a way to insert digital characters into Blair-Witch-style shaky-cam footage. But so depressing. Boo.

This post's theme word: abrogate, "to put aside or treat as nonexistent, especially by an authoritative act."

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