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Customer Review

56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, July 31, 2010
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This review is from: District 9 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
At first, the plot and characters in this movie seem quite bizarre, but it eventually becomes apparent that the movie is clearly and faithfully illustrating a theme which is natural to the human condition. That theme revolves around what happens when a minority group lives in the midst of a majority group, with the division into different and opposing groups being established based on their differences in ancestry, appearance, language, diet, and other cultural traits.

In such a situation, the majority group may grow to detest the minority group and unjustly blame them for many of their own troubles, and they may even be tempted to exterminate the minority group (ie, genocide), but their instincts will usually tell them that that's going too far. Instead, the minority group will usually be allowed to continue to exist, but they'll be geographically cordoned off and their rights will be limited, so that they suffer deprived circumstances, including epithets, physical abuse, poverty, exploitation, and crime.

Again, the movie illustrates this (important) theme well, and in a way that there's no question about who the minority group is and the ways in which they're being mistreated. I found the movie gripping, and I suspect that I'll remember it for a long time.

If I have to come up with a negative criticism of the movie, I would say that perhaps some of the violence is over the top, and I wonder if it was necessary to include Nigerians among the really bad guys (given that their reputation is already bad enough).

Nevertheless, I do recommend this movie. It's much better than I expected, and it does its job well enough to warrant a full 5 stars.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 26, 2012, 9:09:58 PM PDT
-- says:
Are you kidding me?

"I wonder if it was necessary to include Nigerians among the really bad guys."

I'm honestly almost lost for words at that. This is a work of fiction. It is in no way, shape, or form singling out Nigerians as "bad guys." How would you feel about the "really bad guys" if they were, say, German, Russian, Mexican, or even American? You're the one giving Nigerians a bad reputation, by basing an entire country off of a few unsavoury criminals.

I honestly fear for the human race if this political correctness continues at all.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012, 9:00:54 AM PDT
Camber says:
In the US, Nigerians are particularly notorious for corruption. Nigerians were chosen as the bad guys in the movie. Coincidence? I think not. By the way, I have Nigerian and Nigerian-American family members.

Posted on Jul 22, 2012, 10:48:50 PM PDT
TronicTropic says:
I love the fact that they included the issue with Nigerians. It played along with the surprising "off" realism of the film. just another layer to the deconstructed yet beautiful mess that is Mzansi.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012, 4:57:02 PM PDT
The Nigerians are widely known for their incessant "scam letter" on the Internet. That is what is being refenced. Of course, most Nigerians are okay, but that is their world-wide reputation.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012, 7:31:04 PM PST
LOL49 says:
I agree that the movie was really better than I thought it would be - and you're right, some of the violence was a little graphic, but perhaps they meant to give a flavor for the type of ghetto-ish surroundings that the aliens were living in.

Posted on Dec 9, 2013, 12:38:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2013, 12:59:13 PM PST
On the one hand, it is horrifying, how they treat the alien arrivals,
"the Newcomers", and the movie does conjure up images from
WW2, namely, the Shoah... But after a while, it turns into a comedy -
at least, it did, for me... The main character, is a guy who uses coarse
language (lots of coarsing) around the guys, and the aliens, but NEVER
around his wife... "I have a picture of her here... see her veil, how like
a halo it is?"... He is, inept... intellectually, not intelligent.. He keeps
using his cellphone, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it can be used
to track his whereabouts... And physically, athletically speaking, he is not
"Captain America"... but I thought he did bare a striking resemblance to
Adolf Hitler.... In the movie, he never "grows up", is never able to think about
others, unless there is something in it for himself. And so, he is a kind of
anti-hero, unable to do good for others, to "fight the power", but goes along
with the Nazi-like South African regime, as if it was the natural "law-abiding"
thing to do - yet his selfish nature, will eventually lead him, to do good, for
another ...

One will end up serving the one he fears, will he not?... So, the
thought of a Judgement Day, and how to love others, ... this seems beyond him,
save for his devotion to his Angel-Wife - this, is really his only redeeming character,
in a place that bares more than a striking resemblance to the historical Nazi Germany.

"Christopher,... I didn't know they were doing these things to your people,... but
if we don't get out of here..." Soo, selfish.

Near the end of the film, when he finally decides to help the alien "Christopher",
it seems he does so, only because he has decided he hates the other side more,
and so would rather "play" for Christopher - shades of, INVICTUS, here... OK, you
run, I'll block.

Again, it came across as a comedy to me... Somehow, I do not think Christopher is coming
back for him, he has his own son to raise, and protect... Merry Christopher, y'all,
blinking lights, and all... this movie, full of Christmas cheer, not really.... Nevertheless,
the movie ends with a sense that main character, what's his name, is left with a sense
of hope, that he will become "acceptable" to his Angel-Wife, again, someday... Christopher
shall return... Makes me wonder if the aliens are not meant to represent the True Believers,
who have a Hope of Salvation, compared to the rest of the world, who do not. (The
True Believers, the aliens, seem to be "off the grid", not really comprehending things such
as buses, trains, paying for food, etc. - Jesus said that the evil in a day is sufficient to
be concerned with... why plan for retirement?) The way the movie ends - yet comical,
for whereas the other aliens are looking up at the sky, he is thinking about reuniting with
his Angel-Wife... back in "the world" - a Second Heaven? Reminds me of the movie,
Splash (Tom Hanks) where he chooses the mermaid, over the earth, and the sky above...
But again, it seems to be this character's one, and only true virtue - his love (how selfish?)
for his wife...

Frankly, was he ever likeable, from the audience's perspective?.. Well, maybe
from the female audience's perspective, since he evidently could not understand that
there were two teams, only that he was assigned to one of them... "You aliens, .. this is
illegal..." And so, it was easy to see why his co-workers hated him - his inability to grasp
the concept of "team sports"... "Why did he shoot at me?" - of course, ... they are both
wearing the same uniform. So, yes, why indeed...

Two verses :
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope:
for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Romans 8:24, kjv.

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form
nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is
no beauty that we should desire him.
Isaiah 53:2, kjv.

The alien, Christopher, he had a maternal nature, did he not?
Christopher, his son, and this guy... what did they have in
common?

Posted on Dec 9, 2013, 4:15:26 PM PST
Star Bux says:
There comes a time, ..

... when the operation of the machine becomes soo odius,
makes you soo sick at heart, that you can't take part - you can't even
passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears
and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've
got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it,
to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be
prevented from working at all. ...

That doesn't mean that you have to break anything. One thousand
people sitting down some place - not letting anybody by, not letting
anything happen - can stop any machine, including this machine.
And it will stop.

-- Mario Savio ("the machine speech" - U of C, Dec.2 1964)

My thoughts :
In this movie, the torture, murders, experimentations,
were being done 3 floors down, in a building, while workers ("pencil
pushers"), seemingly oblivious to the horrors happening below ground
level, were not able (or not willing) to stop them, working on the floors
above ground level... sitting down, they were not able to stop soldiers,
"medical staff", from entering those levels, where "the machine" was
"operating".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2013, 4:18:12 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 9, 2013, 4:25:38 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2013, 4:25:51 PM PST
Star Bux says:
.. often in these "aliens unwelcome" movies, the point is made by
the director, or writer, that "blacks" are no different from "whites"
in that they will be hostile to "alien newcomers" the way "whites"
were to them - as if to say, "blacks" have no moral high ground
when it comes to exploiting others, considered "alien"...
I find that offensive.... that "black civil rights activists" would not
rally to support the "new blacks".

That said, I found it interesting that "the efficiency expert" attempted
to buy guns, the way he attempted to buy hamburgers at the "burger
shop" - with money, expecting his rights as a consumer to be honoured,
irrespective of his skin colour, or theirs. He did, however, end up "shoplifting"
both the burgers, and the guns, seeing as how they (the "whites" and the
"blacks") did not wish to do business with him, and he frankly, needed those
items, to help him get back to .. civilization.

A verse :
Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger:
for ye know the heart of a stranger,
seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 23:9, kjv.

Posted on Dec 11, 2013, 10:48:52 AM PST
All art is open to subjective interpretation, is it not?

There is a scene in the movie where they unplug some prawn babies off of
"life support" - thus facilitating their deaths... "abortion" is what it is called -
and "abortion activists" might call it, murder... That scene, was really an act
of murder... and so there ought to be difference put between that act of "baby
killing" and a request made by a female to terminate her "pregnancy", where
two lives are in the balance, one subordinate to the other - rather than the same
word, or label, used to describe both "situations" or "acts", I think... Love, is both
a moral obligation, and an act of self-will... "Sorry, I can't save you"... is a choice.

The prawn... or the human... two lives... a choice... you can't go back, either
way... what will he choose to do? Make the "selfish" play? What would you do?

Near the end of the movie,... I did not get the feeling that he was not
being selfish... He was yet being selfish... He simply decided he hated
the other team more... and it was not a case of he learning to care for ..
them... Odd, that Wikus... A quote : "All the joy that is in the world comes
from wishing others happiness. All the misery in the world comes from
desiring pleasure for oneself." - Shantideva (sp?)... Yes, well,
"wishing others happiness" did not get "good results" in this movie, but Wikus
seeking pleasure for himself, ultimately worked out to a positive resolution -
go figure.

That said, I found it kind of annoying that subtitles (in yellow, rather
than white - "yuck"), were used when some were speaking English, albeit
with "thick" (subjective) accents... Only "educated humans" (black, white, or ?)
were afforded the dignity of not having subtitles placed with their
"soliloquays" or "observations of life".
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