DIstrict 9: What is human?
Posted by lamarzulli on August 17, 2009
I saw District 9 over the weekend. I went to City Walk and met a friend, Richard Shaw and his wife Mary. [Richard is a film maker and will be my guest on Acceleration Radio this coming Tuesday & Thursday.] We had some delicious Chinese food before hand and then went over to the huge movie complex located in the open mall.
I have to tell you up front that this movie is not for everybody. In fact I wouldn’t recommend it. The characters drop more F-bombs then were dropped over London during WWII. It is also very, and I mean very, graphically violent. So much so that I had to look away more that half a dozen times. I would say it is cross between a Sam Peckinpah movie, meets Pulp Fiction, meets Transformers, meets Dawn of the Dead, meets Franz Kafka. Of course mine is only one opinion and I post part of another view below in italics:
District 9 has so much to like. It’s spectacular, darkly funny, entertaining and thoughtful all at the same time, and it’s all done on a meager $30m budget. There is true talent on show here. If only there were more films like this, the world of cinema would be a more interesting place.
What a difference a world view makes! D-9 poses the question, what is human? The movie opens in a documentary format. It’s grainy and looks and feels like a real documentary. The footage of the huge UFO hovering over Johannesburg South Africa is very realistic. Bravo for that one special affect. We then see that these Aliens are stranded. Their mother ship doesn’t work, and they are sick and suffering from malnutrition. The humans take them in and at first, things seem to go well. Soon however, the aliens are put in a special ‘camp,’ which is called District 9. We see that they act in a sub human way and are treated by humans with disdain…
The main character is seen trying to get the aliens, whom they now call prawns, because they appear to be crustacean-like in appearance, to sign eviction notices so that they can relocate these pesky aliens several hundred miles outside of Johannesburg. While doing this he inadvertently spills some alien liquid on himself and his transformation begins. Less than 24 hours later his one arm has morphed into that of an alien – there’s the Kafka link – complete with three claw-like appendages for what were once his fingers. Without going into the rest of the plot, which is basically one long, drawn out, almost never ending chase scene, I want to explore the idea of what is human? How do we ascertain what a human being is? In Nazi Germany the Jews were regarded as sub-human and inferior race. With that idea put in place it became easy to round them up and exterminate them. Until the Dread Scott decision black slaves in this country were also considered sub-human, therefore slavery was accepted and blacks were treated in the most horrible of ways. Then there’s the First-Nation Peoples, more commonly erroneously named, Indians. We have to realize that that Hitler used our Indian Reservations as a model for his Concentration camps. In all of these cases people who had different skin color or were of a different ethnicity were thought of as less than human. District 9, however, forces us to examine how we think about two entirely different species producing offspring. This reminds me of what happened in Genesis 6. The Fallen angels manifested on the earth and took wives. The result of that union were the Nephilim. This was an abomination that resulted in the flood. Dr. Jacobs who has interviewed hundreds of so-called alien abductees, has stated that the breeding program has reached it’s tipping point and that these alien/human hybrids may now be integrating into our society. How do we regard a modern day Nephilim? I, for one will always take the position that the Nephilim are demonic entities that although appear human, are not because they have the fallen ones seed in them. The whole point of District 9 may be to soften the blow when these alien/human hybrids begin to manifest openly. Will we accept them and point to the horrors of the death-camps, slavery and apartheid as the road we should avoid at all costs, or will we realize that the Nephilim are anathema? Hows that for a Monday morning conundrum?
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