District 9

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Sarah Mead
Professor McCormick
Sociology
2 December 2012
District 9
Though this may seem like any other stereotypical extra-terrestrial movie, District 9 is unique in that it creates a scenario showing human discrimination towards alien begins; something that is an obvious metaphor for all racial discrimination. District 9 shows a world where the battle for previously eliminated racial equality resurfaces. It is no coincidence that District 9 is set in South Africa, where apartheid, discrimination mainly against black Africans, was an issue for years before it was finally eliminated in the 1990’s (Wikipedia, 2012). Because of its past, South Africa is the perfect country to show this new type of discrimination against an entirely new intelligent species; also the writer/director Neill Blomkamp was born and raised in Johannesbur (The Guardian, 2012). Because of the metaphor used in the movie dealing with the issue of discrimination, the racial lens can be used when viewing District 9 to identify stereotypes and power struggles between the new alien race and human beings, and also to connect these struggles to all current and past racial discrimination (Safundi, 2010).

District 9 begins with the new race of aliens coming to Earth. Of course, they are accepted into the world at first, with many people actually assisting them in merging society, but soon discrimination against them begins to emerge. District 9 is enforced, separating humans from the non-humans. Signs with symbols of aliens crossed out designate their exclusion from society including work, which perpetuates their existence as slum-dwellers.

Stereotypes against the aliens, such as claims that they are diseased or accusations that they have a criminal nature begin to surface, causing these problems (Sociology, 2008). Soon a struggle for power breaks out, and people everywhere begin to repress the species into a small, run down shack town in order to control them. This is not unlike past or...
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