Sunday, August 23, 2009

Movie of the Summer of the Week: District 9

The buzz/hype was on target with District 9. It was a very well-made movie with amazing special effects, a pretty blunt metaphor that could apply not just to South Africa but to many other ethnic conflicts around the world, and excellent writing/directing.

The role played by a private military corporation (all the rage in both Iraq and the civil-military relations literature) was quite appropriate given the notable examples of South African PMCs elsewhere.

No spoilers here yet, but some questions do arise:
  • would the international community and especially the US let South Africa handle the prawn settlements/technology exploitation on their own?
  • were the film-makers solely focused on South Africa? Or did they also have other segregated, oppressed types also in mind, like Roma in Europe, African-Americans and Latinos in the US, etc?
  • Most importantly, is Pepe the prawn actually an alien?
Run to your nearest theatre and see this movie. It may not be the best movie of the summer, but it is certainly in the conversation. Glad I made my family go to D-9 rather than GI Joe!

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