Wednesday, September 30, 2009

'The Other'

District 9 has evoked mixed reactions. People seem to love it or hate it.
Either way, what’s important is that it’s made people THINK (an ability that the Kardarshian’s and the mainstream news have made dormant).

I was amazed at the manner in which the plot not only managed to give personality to the ‘aliens’ but also, so accurately showed the response of South African’s to ‘the other’ that, I felt like I was watching the news during the xenophobic attacks last year. Intolerance, hatred for ‘the other’ and an inability to realise that just over a decade ago it was the South African’s that were seeking asylum and running from the conditions at home were the key players in the horror that followed.

Refugees arrive in a country for a number of reasons ranging from politics to poverty and the quest for a better life -which is a universal human trait-. And it is beyond obvious that if life at home was better no one would ever leave, ask the Palestinians, the Saharawi, the Zimbabweans and the thousands displaced in the Congo!

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at all that the movie has evoked so much emotion. After all it’s about time South Africans felt some collective guilt at their behaviour towards ‘aliens’ both for last year’s violence and for the many displaced refugees that still live within the borders in fear.


shafinaaz said...

I have yet to see the movie but agreeable wt your reflections...
Making a renewed mental note to go see it asap.

Hi DD :) I havent been here in a bit, n missed ur writing!

r a w said...

Very well put.

Don't forget that the movie also hinted at the "apartheid" practices of yesteryear. The forcible eviction of residents from their homes into colour-classified townships. The play on the word "District 6", which was the place where 60,000 residents were forcibly evicted during the late 60s, early 70s.

The film is a brilliant satire of how we treat not only people from other countries, but also our own, and kudos to the makers for having the balls to highlight it, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way (which is far more effective than normal means.)

Keep writing.

dripab said...

loved it, for the same reasons. I hope this flick reaches a whole new audience of sci fi freaks and makes them think of social issues!

desert demons said...

Shafinaaz, welcome back. I missed you! Congratulations on the book!

Raw - Totally agree! Thanks

dripab - thanks for your visit to my blog. I think this movie brings home the issues to a number of people who wouldn't ordinarily consider the ramifications.