District 9

on

The true nature of humanity is ambiguous. There are good people and there are bad people, and the distinction lies in how we treat each other. But what about aliens?

District 9 does an excellent job of examining the situation of alien arrival in a very realistic manner. The documentary style certainly goes a long way in that regard. More than anything, though, is the unfortunately pragmatic way that the film approaches human reaction to something that is different – and it is uncomfortable to watch.

The first portion of the film is painful because of its honesty. Most humans are vile creatures that seek to hurt or subjugate anything or anyone that is different. Governments and organizations will use and sacrifice anything – including their own – to further their warmongering goals.

Our protagonist, Wikus (Sharlto Copley), is quite unlikable for the majority of the film. When he’s not being a bully and a bigot, he’s busy being an absolute coward. His redemption comes at the end of the film, and even that is delivered in a hail of bullets and showers of gore.

Overall, I enjoyed District 9. It is hard, though, to properly say that this film is enjoyable. The dissection of human nature and the political allegories cause the viewer to inspect their own personal feelings and actions, and that is never a pleasant experience.

But it is, occasionally, a needed one.

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