domingo, 20 de setembro de 2009

district 9

"District 9" is one of the most original and tasteful SF films I have seen. Watch the trailer here.

It is set in an alternate timeline in director Neill Blomkamp's native South Africa where insectoid aliens have landed in a giant ship. However, they are not portrayed as evil creatures, trying to take over or destroy the human race and their planet. On the contrary, they arrive ill and malnourished, as refugees, and are forced to live in inhumane conditions and poverty in a slum, isolated from the rest of the (Johannesburg) population. They are derogatively called "prawns" (derived not from the shellfish but from the Parktown Prawn, a giant cricket native to Johannesburg). Here is the rest of the story without revealing too much: When a special agent is accidentally exposed to a mysterious alien substance, he finds himself a hunted man and this suddenly changes the entire perspective.

Even though it was a low-budget movie, I believe they made one of the most outstanding SF films of the last years, one that can be admired from a technical (the CGI is amazing!), dramatic (great acting), narrative (with a few drawbacks), and educational point of view (the movie tackles issues like xenophobia, the corruptive potential of power, the inability of people to learn from history or to see beyond their own side of the table, the dark side of human capabilities when confronted with despair, media manipulation, poverty and exploitation of the weak etc. The metaphorical connotations cannot be ignored: starting from the apartheid history (the signs of the movie and of the preceeding marketing campaign reminded me so much of the apartheid signs) up to recent issues: Interestingly enough, the film shoot coincided with attacks and killings of Zimbabwean refugees living in the shanty towns.

I believe that the movie tries to show that unless one is forced to see through the other's eyes, one might never understand the limits of one's own perspective.

source 1, source 2

Check out the D9 website.

7 comentários:

ecila disse...

One of the best movies I have seen lately!

ecila disse...

the inability to learn from history is one of the most annoying characteristics of humankind! including ourselves ;-)

Great review, I agree entirely!

Victor Afonso disse...

Eu acho que este filme está rodeado de demasiado hype. Veremos...

ecila disse...

Victor, é um filme FC diferente do que estamos habituados. Eu gostei bastante.

jellyfish disse...

Victor, to be honest, I think the movie starts off with a huge potential and ends up losing itself in the Hollywood formula. Nevertheless, for a low-budget-movie, the result is simply spectacular. And, of course, I love the actual concept of the movie.

Ariadne disse...

I have just watched the film. I am not a SF fan, do not really know why, perhaps because I am more connected to what was the past to think of how the future will turned out to be. Well, surprise, I really liked the idea behind it. As you said, opposite to other situations and scenarios, perhaps the first film to present aliens as victims of experiments, violence and seggregation, just like the black people once were (are?). The shooting part really got into my nerves at some point with all those splatter-like scenes of heads blown up (I actually had a 1-minute nap), but still a very valid film indeed. There is still hope that Christopher is coming back one day. Good for the aliens, nasty for the enemies. Who were they again?

volteface.book disse...

Se tirassem explosões, tinhamos aqui um alien duro de roer.. aliás, osso.