Sunday, March 14, 2010

District 9 - Neill Blomkamp (2009) - An Indictment on the Foreign Policy of the West

Frankly, the most amazing thing about this film is just the simple fact that it exists. Frankly, I am amazed this movie ever found financing.

I can picture an upstart of a filmmaker coming into my office (assuming I was an investor or producer or whatever) and said, "Okay hear me out, this movie is gonna be genius. It's like 'War of the Worlds' meets 'Schindler's List.'"

I would have said,
"Get out of my office! No, wait, don't move first I have to come out from around my desk, come over there and slap you with my dick. Not because I enjoy slapping people with my dick, even though I do, but I think you just need to be slapped with a dick as a matter of principle. 'War of the Worlds' meets 'Schindler's List,' what the hell is the matter with you? Get out! No, wait, I almost forgot about the dick-slapping!"

But, I would have been wrong.

From the very beginning, this film unravels slowly, showing you just a little bit at a time to keep you wondering who's got the upper hand on who.

First, the obvious. I loved this film's protagonist. He moves from pocket-protector-wearing nerd to bureaucratic bully to victim and finally to badass alien/robot hybrid thingy seamlessly.

Watching this doofus just throw down in the third act of the movie was nothing short of priceless.

What really sells this movie is that it is one of those rare science fiction films that truly understands the craft of social criticism.

Coming off of eight years of some of the worst abuses of power in American history, District 9 might have arrived a few years late, but hell, you can't have everything.

What the film captures so distinctly is the absolute hubris of what we call civilized society.

In District 9, we encounter a society who we know has mastered both intergalactic travel and bio-weaponry so advanced, you have to have the right DNA just to fire their guns. Yet the political and military leaders are convinced that this society is lazy and stupid.

And that's the single treasure of this film. It says more about human arrogance in its 100 or so minutes than could ever be said in a million op-ed pieces.

So, I’m just immensely grateful that whoever green-lit this film did so which just proves the old adage:

Measure twice, slap with a dick once.

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