August 14, 2009

District 9 And The Many Meanings of "Alien."

  • Foreigner: a person who comes from a foreign country; someone who does not owe allegiance to your country.
  • Stranger: anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found
  • Estrange: arouse hostility or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness; 
  • Extraterrestrial being: a form of life assumed to exist outside the Earth or its atmosphere
  • Being or from or characteristic of another place or part of the world; 

"District 9" is an astounding film that takes what you think you know about aliens (and humans) and explodes it in a dazzling burst of brilliant imagination. Everything in this film, from the writing, filming, editing, action, sound design, acting, and special effects feels refreshing. And most importantly this is a film that uses aliens to make a profound statement about the state of the human condition in the year 2009.

If you aren't aware, the basic premise of the film is that 28 years ago, a giant alien spaceship parked over Johannesburg, South Africa, and the humans in an apparent act of kindness, gave the aliens a place to live outside of the ship. This place was called District 9 and is basically a gigantic ghetto. All this addressed in the first 10 minutes of the film, and the rest of the narrative follows a human man who is charged with leading the liquidation of the alien ghetto. Things do not go as planned.

My mind is spinning on how amazing the film was, and I have lots to say about it, but I will just leave you with this tidbit. One of the most favorite things about the film is how your view of the aliens and humans flip during the film. At the start of the story, we the viewer are sympathetic to the humans, after all they are "our" kind. However as the story progresses, through the humans cruelty toward each other and the aliens, I found myself feeling alienated from the them and slowly rooting for the aliens. This change in my emotions is evident in the physical and emotional change of the film's protagonist. That is just one of the film.

I have not even touched on the political, economical, or social allegories that fill the movie. Nor have I mentioned the amazing style of the film including never before seen camera techniques and brilliant editing of different types of camera footage (news, security, interviews). When I left the theatre, I was highly satisfied with the film, but after thinking about it, I find my enjoyment is rising exponentially, it's depth is incredible. And without a doubt, it is the film of the summer, if not the year (so far)

No comments:

Post a Comment