Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review – District 9

This movie works on several levels. It’s cinema a clef about problems in refugee camps in Africa in particular and the world in general. It’s a profound commentary about racism recast with space aliens in the victims’ role, robbing it of its social context and thus making it easier to see for what it is. And it’s an entertaining movie on top of all that. The filmmakers combine pseudo-documentary and straight narrative drama to tell the story of a government factotum in charge of a shantytown inhabited by stranded refugees from a broken spaceship. Our not-initially-heroic hero gets sprayed with some kind of goo the aliens have been brewing, and it starts to transform him into one of them. The script and acting are reasonably good, and the effects hold up under scrutiny. Occasionally they ladle in just a bit too much preachiness, but for the most part this is an impressive mix of thought provoking and fun. Worth seeing

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