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Old August 15 2009, 03:25 AM   #13
Ancient Mariner
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

USS Mariner wrote: View Post
Um, I'd think that it's understandable that everyone on the planet would be distracted from the man-on-man Apartheid when ALIENS LAND ON THE FUCKING EARTH.


I honestly don't understand this point. What the fuck did you want them to do? They were addressing actual apartheid, through the use of alien stand-ins. If they did actual apartheid, a lot of people wouldn't bother even seeing it. Using aliens draws more people into dealing with concepts that they otherwise wouldn't give two fucks over if they saw actual black people being treated this way.
I wanted an actual acknowledgment of historical fact.

Look, the film is, by and large, very well done and, on many levels, I found the character interactions to be quite moving. There is value to its central commentary about how humanity treats people who are different. But I won't ignore, gloss over, or excuse the fact that there's no mention whatsoever of what was actually taking place in South Africa at the time these aliens arrived.

D9 is a movie about Apartheid-like conditions, set in South Africa. The significant event of the arrival of aliens took place during Apartheid. There is no mention whatsoever of how that event affected the very real Apartheid that was taking place. If this film wants to be a serious commentary on "actual Apartheid" (as you put it), for it to ignore the historical context of Apartheid in its chosen setting of South Africa is a mistake. What better way to inform viewers about Apartheid than by mentioning and addressing historical fact somewhere in the film? Failure to do so devalues the very real sacrifices people made and glosses over the atrocities committed.

The film didn't have to be about South African Apartheid, but it did have to at least explicitly confront the issue somewhere in its narrative.
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