Thursday, October 8, 2009
The District 9 Naughtiness
Oh those pesky big-wig producers and their evil little racist friends! Whatever will they do next?
For those who have been living in complete isolation over the past few months, and when asked about this movie it would appear a lot of you have, our local cinema’s have been graced with a film called District 9. The premise is remarkably allegoristic, turning apartheid on its head by literally telling the story of how real aliens are received by us humans when forced to land on Earth for an as yet undisclosed reason (sequel anyone?). Oh, and it all takes place in South Africa (well, Johannesburg).
This time around the cinema critics actually took to the film on a million to one long-shot, with praise coming in from all corners of the globe with its bravery and originality. Everyone it would seem, except for those at racialicious.com.
Need I point out that this written in response to their post on just how racist district 9 was.
Yes, District 9 portrays the oppressed in an unflattering light. Yes, the only Nigerians in the film are trying to eat everything before (or after) killing it first. Yes, the oppressors are all white. And yes, it was all written and directed by an ignorant American called Niel Blomkamp.
Neil Blomkamp is South African?
Get outta here!
Yup, much to the chagrin of racialicious.com, Neil Blomkamp was born and raised in South Africa, ahem, during apartheid before his family moved to Canada. Granted, his domestic touch may be influenced by foreign media, but what racialicious fail to realize is that District 9 is actually so stereotyped and out-therem (deliberately, I have read the interviews with writer/director Neil Blomkamp at empiremagazine.com) with the whole racist plot that it’s anti-racist? Understand Mother-Grandie? Also what the individual who wrote the whole article failed to realize is that the whole practice of Muthi (the eating of parts of another to gain their strength) is actually incredibly common in South Africa. I live in Durban, where there is an entire muthi market selling the limbs and innards of every living thing. So telling me that because of this aspect of the film the film-makers are racist, I would encourage whosoever writes such articles to do their research first. For fucks sakes! You can legally claim medical aid for seeing a witch doctor in South Africa!
All that I ask of these people, and unfortunately blog writers are particularly to blame, is to do your research first before making claims about countries and policies you actually know nothing about. It is our job as journalists to provide, when asked, an informed opinion. Not one that is made because you are insulted, but one which has been made because the facts you have acquired point to something else. In this instance, the writers at racialicious.com chose to believe, without justification, that elements of the film were racist whereas they were, for South Africans, a seriously hard hit home as to the problems we are facing everyday with prejudice.