District 9

Ok, I get it.  Think outside the box a little and everyone will love the movie.  Don’t insult your audience’s intelligence and you can make a successful film.  I feel as though District 9 was a good movie, but at the same time extremely offensive.  That is to say that many good movies can be offensive to people.  Whether a film has homophobic, misogynistic, racist, or disingenuously offensive parts towards any group it can still be good.  I have an inkling that people have overlooked the fact that the depiction of Africans in this movie is filled with western stereotypes.  Not to say there aren’t any witch doctors or lethal gangs in Africa, but that seems like the only images that make it into widely released, hugely successful films.  There wasn’t one positive image of an African in the movie.  They were lackies, incompetent yes-men cops, hate-filled rioters, witch doctors, arms dealers, bottom feeders, unruly gangsters or opportunistic leeches that gain from the misery of others.


I just feel there is no balance in the depiction of Africans in the movie, Perhaps I just missed the message about what South Africa was like during apartheid. I dunno.


I think when people watch District 9 the second and third times they will realize that the first hour build up is quite slow and could have been cut a lot shorter, of course keep the most powerful gut wrenching scenes (which there are quite a few), but cut out some of the stuff when Wikus Van De Merwe, the main character, is bumbling around being awkward, there was just a little too much of that.  They will also realize that the last 30 minutes with the Robocop 2 (enemy robot) look-a-like is super cheesey and doesn’t really fit with the rest of the tone of the movie.  For some odd reason I find that a lot of European directors circum to the desire to lighten up a dark film with a big hokie scene that reminds the audience that “this is just a movie.”


People should see this movie and talk about it.  It brings up a lot of unique topics and is entertaining too.  I just wonder if all this ass kissing that critics are giving it have blinded their critical eye.  Yes, movies are for entertainment, but they can also make positive and negative statements about the world we live or lived in.


This isn’t the first time that I have felt race has played a major role in a movie that Peter Jackson had his had in.  King Kong was blatant with the big black ape’s obsession with a pretty young white virgin woman.  Then a bunch of white guys chase him around trying to lynch (I believe they use this word in the movie) the ape.  The Lord of the Ring movies have the Orcs, which are the only characters of color in the movie.  No little black or Hispanic or middle-eastern hobbits or elves or any other type of people.


Personal Note: I wanted to boo when Peter Jackson’s name was the first one to come up on the screen, but I restrained myself.  If I ever see this movie again, I will not hold myself back.  I think he has some deep-rooted issues that come out in his movies.

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