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District 9 Essay

1320 words - 6 pages

Although District 9 is a fictional movie, many aspects of the movie relates to real life situations. Everyday, countries must handle situations in which the state must decipher a way to handle desperate refugees that come to seek a better life. In District 9 however, Aliens are found in a spaceship that hovered above Johannesberg for 20 years. Inside this spaceship, malnourished, ill, and suffering Aliens were found and eventually moved to a placement camp by a large corporation called Multi-National United (MNU). District 9 later turns into a disastrous slum. The main character, Wikus Van Der Merwe, who is also the field operative of MNU, experiences an incident where his DNA merged with ...view middle of the document...

Consequently, this film review will therefore explore refugees and discrimination through the lens of District 9, as it is a microcosm of the wrongful acts happening to civilians around the world every day.
Currently, there are many people and countries that experience arrivals of refugees, usually due to causes of warfare. Countries such as Pakistan, Iran, and Syria host the most refugees in the world today. According to Madison Park of CNN (2012), “Pakistan hosts the most refugees with 1.7 million.” Usually countries that consist of many refugees try to supply them with food, water, and common welfare in order to give them a better life as it is usually for the purpose of fleeing a disastrous country. Caitlin Craven, a professor at the University of Waterloo (2015), explains the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. She states that Somalian Refugees were provided camp houses from 1992 to this present day. Programs such as WFO provide food, medical care, and common social services. Although these camps were initially meant to be temporary, it has become a permanent place for the Somalian refugees to live in. Due to the fact that they could not grow food on their own, an increase on the dependency of Kenyan services emerged. The refugee camps have since been at fault for terrorism and violence. Similarly in District 9, violent behaviour began to abrupt when the alien’s population began increasing. Inhumane behaviour was also portrayed in District 9, this is especially portrayed when the MNU captures Wikus and forces him to kill an alien. As Professor Craven (2015) explains, governments should consider humanitarianism and social justice because there are ethical obligations to treat asylum seekers with dignity.
Discrimination was comprehensively portrayed throughout District 9. During the movie, many dehumanizing words were used towards the aliens. The Aliens were nicknamed as “Prawns”. Creating derogatory names for the Aliens thus removed any value of the Aliens, making it easier to treat them inhumanely. Correspondingly, the term “Popcorn” was used for young aliens because the MNU would set them on fire as an attempt to discontinue reproduction. Clearly, objectifying and degrading their existence was a way for the MNU to portray their revulsion of the Aliens. These exploits in District 9 can be largely related to the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. In Rwanda, a subgroup named Tutsis were named “cockroaches” as they were portrayed as filthy pests. According to Kennedy Ndahiro of Kwibuka (2014):
“In the years leading up to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the government used all its propaganda machinery to spread bigotry and hatred of the Tutsi. Tutsis were now called inyenzi (cockroach). The term became ingrained in the public sphere as almost every single Kangura edition, hate radio RTLM and outspoken politicians claiming to defend Hutu power referred to human beings as cockroaches”.
As a result, profound similarities can be found within real...

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