Tuesday, November 7, 2023

District 9 (USA/New Zealand: Neill Blomkamp, 2009)


That 24-hour warning, the papers to be signed? Absolute crap. This is apartheid, plain and simple. Can you hear that? Under the cries of digitally rendered aliens in a realistic setting? It’s the scream of Mississippi, the Mexican border, weekend ICE raids, and dozens of other dehumanization headlines of late. Go bigger, it’s the echoes of Jewish genocide, Japanese interment, slavery, and hundreds of other racial segregation stories ripped from history. It’s foreigners, families, and children being maligned to crappy ghettos, only to get the boot after much hand-wringing, repeated without any shred of a lesson learned. District 9 is a primal scream on de-location. -- Blake Gobel

District 9 (USA/New Zealand: Neill Blomkamp, 2009: 112 mins)

Booker, M. Keith. "DISTRICT 9 (2009, Director Neill Blomkamp)." Comments on Culture (2019)

"District 9 Film Analysis: The Allegory of Damnation." Sociocinema (May 22, 2020) ["The plot of a District 9 can be read as an allegory for damnation. In this film analysis, I investigate how Wikus' transformation into a prawn is like a slow, painful descent into hell."]

Gobel, Blake. "Aliens, Immigration, and What We’ve Yet to Learn From District 9." Consequence of Sound (August 15, 2019)

McEnteer, James. "Living in District 9 Truth-Out (June 12, 2010)

Skiveren, Nicolai. "Cinematic Waesthetic: Wasted Worlds, Wasted Lives and Becoming-Waste in Contemporary Science Fiction Film." Revenant #10 (March 2024) ["This article explores the aesthetic, affective, and epistemological connections that bind together science fiction (SF) as a genre of cognitive estrangement, and the varied forms of waste that have come to permeate the genre’s filmic depictions of the future. Whether it be in the shadowy alleyways of Blade Runner 2049 (2017), the shantytowns of District 9 (2009), or the ravaged environments of Idiocracy (2006), waste is always there, lurking in the background, enveloping its human and nonhuman subjects with its elusive yet distinct atmosphere. And yet, it remains unclear what purpose(s), if any, waste might serve within these film-worlds. Because despite the seemingly central place that waste occupies in our cultural imaginaries of the future, no one has yet presented a systematic reflection on its affective, symbolic, and narrative significance. This article therefore brings together writings on ecological SF (Caravan 2014) and critical waste studies (Bauman 2004; Hawkins 2005; Viney 2014) to scrutinize the waste found across the above SF films. The article proposes that waste in contemporary SF film can be seen to operate mainly within three overlapping modes: ‘Wasted worlds,’ ‘Wasted lives,’ and ‘Becoming-waste.’ Drawing especially on Adrian Ivakhiv’s tripartite model for an eco-philosophy of the cinema, this article calls attention to the often subtle ways in which waste participates in (i) cinematic world-building, (ii) representations of otherness, and (iii) depictions of radical forms of change. Taken together, these three modes represent a suggestive image of how waste forms part of contemporary SF film."]

Toit, Andries Du. "Becoming the Alien: Apartheid, Racism and District 9." A Subtle Knife (September 4, 2009)

---. "The Alienation Effect: Further Thoughts on D9." A Subtle Knife (September 12, 2009)

Zborowski, James. "District 9 and Its World." Jump Cut #52 (Summer 2010)

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