Last night I went to see "District 9" with my dad, sister, and sister's boyfriend. I had heard great reviews, but more importantly, I heard it had a little "social justice" theme, so I had to see it. It was definitely bizarre, and when my mom asked how it was after it was all over, I wasn't sure how to answer that. I described it in one word - "experience". It was truly one of those "experiences" that no one else can really know about until you watch the movie too. So, that's my recommendation - go see the movie. But before you do, I am going to give you the two main "social justice-y" things to keep in mind as you're watching it.
Number One: The Apartheid
"District 9" takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the basis for the story is that 20 years ago, an alien spaceship began to hover over the city, though never invading. Eventually, humans decided to invade the alien spaceship, and they found millions of malnourished aliens. They bring all of the aliens down and place them in a (displacement) camp, where all the locals hated their presence. They were given nicknames that made fun of the way they looked, and they were known as the lowest of the lowest who lived in the slums.
Now, I want to say that this point isn't so clearly made that you would think this sounds like a cheesy way to come across with a moral point, I am just trying to make things in your memory stick as you watch the movie.
This obviously is trying to spark our memory of the Apartheid in South Africa. The Apartheid was legal racial separation that began in 1948, and ended in 1994. There were residential areas that were sanctioned off for "whites", "blacks", "indians", and "other colored" people's. The aliens are sanctioned in the same way. The movie makes this uncomfortable from the beginning, but, it's aliens we are talking about here, so it doesn't become personal. That is until you begin to realize that there is more than just a different exterior...
Number Two: American Secrets
This one was hard for me to catch, but I kept thinking about the fact that the country of South Africa had hired a private "military" group to take care of the problem with these aliens. I couldn't understand why their own military would not just handle it. Well, the private military group didn't just make for a better movie, but it also hit hard at America. I finally realized that the writer was probably taking a direct shot at America, as we also hired a private military group to do some "work" in Iraq.
This private group that was hired are formerly known as the "Black Water Mercenaries", and are now known as the "Xe". These people have been known for killing Iraqis without cause, and therefore are hated by the Iraqi people. Even worse, they are also known for having a "Christian Crusader" personality, and will do anything to rid the world of Muslim's. Oh, and they are also major donors to the Republican party... awesome. It's horrible, just horrible, and I think "District 9" does a great job with their jabs, if indeed, they are making an analogy of this.
Well, my rant is done. If none of things matter to you, do not fear, this movie is probably one of the best sci-fi movies I have ever scene (when it comes to special effects). The fact that the movie is recorded in a documentary style, as these humans have interactions with awesome looking alien creatures, is just unbelievable. I definitely recommend.