At first glance District 9, directed by Neill Blomkamp, is just a science fiction film with the expected aliens, action, and special effects. Plunge into it with a little bit more scrutiny and you will find out that it is filled with semi-hidden metaphors and allegories that lead you straight to apartheid, which took place in South Africa where this movie ironically takes place. In fact, many incidents and details in this film are reminiscent of not only the apartheid but also of the Holocaust, and other similar tragic events through out history.
“South African apartheid was a system developed to protect the supremacy of Afrikaans-speaking whites and to repress non-white groups through a policy of almost complete separation.” (Jemison 75). Black people were considered inferior, were mistreated and kept apart from the white community. The film has the aliens placed in a ghetto called ‘District 9’ – the native Africans were forced out of ‘white-only’ zones, into ghettos (District 6). As mentioned before the movie took place in South Africa, the heart of the apartheid. New immigrants that came to South Africa, hoping for a better life, were met with mistreatment and rejection as the Afrikaners deemed their ethnic group as being superior; the same reaction is seen in the film regarding the aliens coming to District 9, being shown by people who were being interviewed and commenting with things such remarks as ‘They don’t belong here.’
Forced migrations of communities because of racism, religion or xenophobia reminds us of the pogroms and that takes us to the Holocaust and also the persecution of the Jewish people. The film has quite a few themes relevant to this notorious period of history. Like the prawns, the Jewish people were also moved from their homes to ghettos (and later on, to concentration camps). Jews were profiled in part because of how the Nazi exaggerated their appearances and the prawns are represented beyond the image of traditional aliens that we...
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