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district 9 movie

wow district 9 was great. it highlighted most of what's wrong with humans & on so many levels. I preferred the aliens to those humans. [1] who were the real human beings in that story. it was almost a Philip K Dick plot. [2] wikus seemed to become more human only when he became an alien. [3] I need to see it again to see if he could speak their language prior to becoming one of them. I got the feeling he couldn't. lazy humans. [4] [from twitter]

[from 23/08/2009 notebook entry]
saw District 9 today at the cinema. it's pretty gruesome in parts and was interesting that it was set in South Africa - Johannesburg. it was also interesting how they paralleled some of the human's attitudes towards the aliens - the "prawns" with the white/black apartheid struggle prevalent in South Africa. there was definately an apartheid towards the aliens. they were even living in shanty-towns / slums. I thought it was interesting that the Africans treated the aliens as badly as the whites had/have treated them in the past - like nothing was learned from it. I suppose after so many years, the ideas are in-grained into the population's mindset. there was a Nigerian gang running the black market in the slums - I wondered if this referred to Nigerian internet scams too.

the transition of the human, Wikus, into a "prawn" after exposure to the alien fluid/fuel was also interesting because at the end of the movie he looked just like the other "prawns". so I wondered if originally the aliens had had human form, and were morphed into the "prawn"-like form with hard crustacean coverings on their body in order to cope with the climate on their planet. it was mentioned that their planet had 7 moons - so I think this would cause very disruptive weather conditions. and perhaps they were closer to the sun - or another sun.

I felt sympathy towards the aliens and was hoping they'd get to go home - particularly after the Christopher & his son and friend characters were introduced, because they seemed to be more "human" that the actual humans in the film. I didn't notice if the humans could understand the aliens' language throughout the film - eg during the evictions in the slums. the aliens seemed to understand what the humans were saying, so they were the ones to attempt to learn the new language / culture. the humans just seemed to want to dominate the aliens. once Wikus became merged with the aliens he was speaking with them and seemed to pick up their language pretty quickly as time progressed. I think I need to watch the film again though to take more notice of this.

initially when the aliens were harvesting the fluid and I saw the affect it had on the humans, I thought perhaps they were trying to collect the fluid to harvest / convert humans with it to increase their own population for some reason. but then I heard how it had taken 20 years to harvest the small amount they had, and it was used for fuel to help them get the control module of the ship back to the mothership so they could go home.

the humans didn't treat the aliens well because they looked different, and they behaved different. I thought it was almost ironic that the black Africans were saying things about the aliens, that had previously been said about themselves. they hadn't learned from the past - but instead, humans had just found another species to pick on instead of picking on parts of our own species. I wondered how the relationship between whites & blacks had changed since the arrival of the aliens - I can't remember noticing this in the film so I'll have to watch it again to see if it was raised. I suppose after such a long time, the ideas were ingrained into all the people there.

I thought it was a very similar plot to a Philip K Dick book. the questions about what is human - what does it mean to be human. and the protaganist, Wikus, being an every day working man put into an unusual, unworldly situation, and seeing how he coped, or didn't cope. watching as he seemed to become more human, with more compassion at least towards the aliens, only after he'd started to morph into an alien himself. it was only then he communicated civilly with them, and listened to their concerns and tried to help them in their quest to go home. even if it was also partly because they'd said they could reverse his bodily & DNA changes and make him human once more. I think he was better off remaining as one of the aliens. he seemed like a nicer "person" as an alien. I think it begs the question - who was more human? the "humans" or the "aliens". the MCU company army guys seemed more alien - devoid of compassion, coldly killing aliens and enjoying themselves way too much.

highly recommended movie. I want to see it again.

district 9 website :

here's the trailer on youtube

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