District 9, a science fiction movie directed by Neil Blomkamp and produced by
Peter Jackson, is an action movie throughout. One could view the entire film without
noticing any sort of metaphorical depth, and simply enjoy District 9 based on the merits
of its wonderful visual effects, gore, vulgarity, and fast-paced content. In order to
achieve this blissful nirvana, the viewer would have to empty his mind of any knowledge
regarding the South African apartheid. The apartheid metaphor is so thoroughly
imprinted onto the plot, visuals, and characters of the movie, that anybody who has
studied South African history to any extent would be remiss not to take notice. The
presence of this metaphor attempts to create one of the hallmarks of good science
fiction: depth and meaning.
Classical science fiction often creates a metaphor for contemporary society. This
sort of story uses the science fiction setting as a protected soapbox from which
criticisms about modern culture can be made. George Orwell’s 1984 is perhaps the
most famous example of this, but more ordinary sci-fi comments also: popular shows
like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica contain themes and messages that have clear
parallels to current events. District 9 is a movie with such a message, and its message
is about apartheid.
Director Neil Blomkamp is originally from South Africa, where District 9 takes
place. Blomkamp has said about the apartheid, “It all had a huge impact on me: the
white government and the paramilitary police [and] the oppressive, iron-fisted military
environment” (Qtd. By Lee). All of the themes Blomkamp has mentioned are very
strongly integrated into District 9, especially apartheid. The apartheid in ...
... middle of paper ...
...ff. "King Kong Faces Racism Charge." Altermedia news U.S.A. 18 Dec. 2005.
Web. 18 Nov. 2009.
District 9. Dir. Neil Blomkamp. Perf. Sharlto Copley. Sony Pictures, 2009. DVD.
Ebert, Roger. "District 9." Rev. of Movie. Sun Times [Seattle] 13 Aug. 2009. Web. 10
King Kong. Dir. Peter Jackson. Perf. Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Naomi Watts. Universal
Studios, 2009. DVD.
Lee, Chris. "'District 9' and the alienation of apartheid." LATimes.com. 3 Aug. 2009.
Web. 12 Nov. 2009.
"Nigeria denounces District 9 movie." CBC News. 19 Sept. 2009. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
Terman, Lewis M. The Measurement of Intelligence. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916.
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