Self Loathing for Humans and Non Humans Alike

district_nineIf you haven’t seen District 9, please run to the theater and see it immediately! Not only is the acting phenominal, the script amazing, the effects work outstanding, the phone promo done by yours truly (call 1-866-666-6001 to hear OreoWriter keep humans safe!) but the movie presents a wonderful example of why being an Oreo is so important.

You might worry that a movie that is clearly in part a segregation and apartheid allegory would miss its opportunity to show us how important it is to despise that which we cannot help, but the powers that be did not let us down.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE, DO NOT READ ON UNTIL DOING SO.

REALLY, NORMALLY, I’D SAY GO AHEAD AND SPOIL IT, BUT THIS MOVIE IS ALL KINDS OF AMAZING, SO COME BACK WHEN YOU’VE SEEN IT. WE’LL STILL BE HERE.

 

district-9-trailer

 

 

All right, here we go.

So. Do you know who the scariest people in the movie were? Not the aliens, they were clearly misunderstood. Not Multinational United, the cruel company who tortures innocents. Not Tanya’s father, the frighteningly cold businessman. And not the nameless mercinary who shot to kill on sight.

The scariest people were the blacks who lived in the District 9 ghetto with the aliens. These dark skinned folks lived in garbage, weilded machetes–much scarier than cool alien guns and more primitive than sleek human weapons, were dim enough to believe in specific sorts of witchcraft and were morally bankrupt enough to enforce further enslavement on their fellow subjugated.

Now, before you say that OreoWriter is reading too much into this set of facts, consider this:

When all the melanin-heavy were killed at once…the theater exploded into applause and laughter. What a relief!

I can only hope that they were not simply celebrating the fact that an enemy was squashed.That in their response was at least a hint of inherent discomfort with the victims. And I’ve got a good chance of being right, because when bombs went off at MNU, there was no laughter. When the nameless mercinary got ripped limb from limb, there was no applause. But when the black folks were destroyed en masse, there was so much hubbub that the audience almost missed reacting to the leader getting his head exploded.

I’m not saying that I need validation where ever I can get it. I am saying that it feels good to be reminded by a sold out theater that one’s hard work and shared fears are not in vain. For when this momentous scene happened, I cheered myself (Internally, of course. Making audible comments during a movie would ruin years of Oreo work) because there on screen was a perfect physical representation of what I am working so very hard to do. 

So go see the movie. The acting is phenominal, the script is amazing, the effects work is outstanding, the phone promo’s done by yours truly (call 1-866-666-6001 to hear OreoWriter keep humans safe!) and there’s this hilarious and moving scene in Act III. You’re going to love it.

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4 comments

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  1. Interesting reaction from your audience. I’m always turned off by bloodthirsty audiences, especially as they’re often cheering violence that is supposed to be taken seriously or meant as tragic. Fortunately, there was only one idiot who cheered or shouted whenever someone got killed or blown apart Dr. Manhattan style.

    I will concede from a filmic point of view (ie – how we’re supposed to be feeling), that the mass death of the arms-dealers was meant to be a ‘pleasant surprise’ and cause for optimism that our hero might survive. The main reaction is ‘relief’ and geeky thrills at the giant new robot thing that has been introduced. I personally rolled my eyes, realizing that an ambitious sci-fi parable was about to end with an ED-209 from Robocop slaughtering the bad guys.

    The scene in the lab with the bomb is about tension and suspense… even when the bomb goes off, we are concerned about our heroes’ survival and escape, as well as the disturbing new information that the lead alien has learned (the experiments being run on his fellow brethren).

    As for the climactic death of the main bad guy, we’ve already realized that the main hero is either going to die or completely transform into an alien, which is bad for him personally. Thus there is no thrill when the bad guy perishes because it’s a lost cause. It’s anticlimactic and almost beside the point.

    I’m not saying it wouldn’t be disconcerting to see an audience cheering the slaughter of anonymous black guys, but I think that’s the fault of the filmmakers for choosing to glamorize retribution in this specific instance. I’d imagine they would have cheered the gore-filled spectacle regardless of skin color.

  2. A professor of African-American studies at an HBCU I know walked out during the hybrid arm canibalism witch doctor scene (oops! Spoilers! sorry) and wrote a diatribe about this movie. I think there is a lot of confusion about this movie and its supposed Allegory. While there is definitely an allusion to Apartheid and the 2nd Boer War. There is no hypothetical scenario where the Black South Africans ironically oppress some alien minority. This is going on right now with the Nigerian immigrant population there. Nigerians, from a country that greatly helped with the end of Apartheid, find themselves ostracized and targeted in violent, sometimes deadly, attacks just like the Prawns in the film. The Irony is not the turned table scenario but that the Prawns are metaphors for the Nigerians who are so despised in the film that they live with the Prawns and are considered a bigger threat. Similarly, there is a very real trade in albino human body parts for use by Witch Doctors. Witch Doctors are real, they tell you to have sex with babies to cure AIDs. People chase Albinos taunting them, calling out prices, then sometimes they kill them and sell their limbs. People are eating Pygmies in the Congo. I’m concerned that this professor, whom I have a great amount of respect for, did not see this.

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