Thursday, August 27, 2009
There's something you need to know. Something you need to see. Whatever your predilections, proclivities, or predispositions when it comes to movie genres, go and see District 9. It's one of the most stunning films of recent years.
It deals with big social themes in a way that makes you cringe and laugh and think hard about your own values. And it does this through the use of man-size alien "prawns" that have become stranded in Johannesburg! Ostensibly sci-fi, it's the best of the genre, exploring how people would react and feel in a difficult new situation.
In fact, it's a very old and familiar scenario of how people relate to those who are different from themselves. What makes them empathise? How do they justify cruelty and humiliation? How do the unlikeliest of people find it in themselves to make sacrifices for others?
Setting the film in South Africa gives the story a very real and chilling dimension. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, District 9 features an entirely South African cast - and the lead is brilliant. OK, that's enough gushing, just go and see it.