During class on April 17th we watched the movie District 9. Before watching it, I was not really sure how we were going to be able to relate a movie about aliens to South Africa and the history of the country. But it was a lot easier to compare it to South Africa than I had expected; at the same time I also really enjoyed watching it. T
he story takes place in District 9 in Johannesburg, where the aliens live for themselves. The first glimpse of District 9 reminded me of the townships we have previously read about in South Africa. There were shacks everywhere, built right next to one another, and it was not at all a pleasant way of living.
What was interesting in the movie was how scared the humans were of the differences in the creatures. People are clearly scared of creatures who were not like themselves. But I do believe the movie was trying to show more than just people being scared of the unknown, but rather how quick people are to judge others. The movie represented what actually occurred in District 6 in South Africa, and I would think the aliens in the movie represented the people in District 6 when they were forced to move out of their homes. I think the movie shows how inhumanely some of the people in District 6, who were forced to leave their residence, were treated.
I also think District 9 related to the movie Cry Freedom that we watched a few weeks ago. Both the men in these two movies have the typical governmental perspective to begin with, but as time passes by they learn and understand more about the people (or aliens, in District 9). When the men are put in similar situations, that is when they finally get a different perspective.
The conclusion we can draw from the movie is that we are very judgmental of people we meet. Whether it is about race, characteristics, or something else that may differ, we still always think that whoever is different from us, is also wrong. The movie also brings up important points about separation of people. It compares the separation of the aliens and the people in Johannesburg to the separation of black people from white people during apartheid. I think there were some really interesting parallels that were drawn between the movie and the reality.
We spent the rest of the class discussing what we have learned during the semester this far, and what we have left. It made me realize that we really have gone over a lot of material the past weeks, and that we are coming to an end of the written assignments and instead we are getting closer to the beginning of an eye-opening trip!