The Struggle for Humanity in District 9


More often than not, the most horrifying and heartbreaking villains are represented by people who look just like you and me. In Neill Blomkamp's 2009 Sci-Fi, District 9, the conflict we watch on screen is an allegory, not only for the apartheid era in South Africa, but an even broader commentary on how we react to situations and “others” that we do not fully understand. Fear of the other has been a devastatingly driving force behind terrible historic events continuously repeated, as if we are forever re-learning the golden rule. Treating others the way we want to be treated is an instruction that sadly, is most accessible through familiarity, above all else.

In District 9, Blomkamp introduces you to a Johannesburg, South Africa ravaged with socio-political discord and civil unrest, a situation only heightened by the fact that an alien race has also been living there for two-plus decades. When an alien ship mysteriously settles over Johannesburg in the early 80’s, its malnourished alien race is policed into a human-regulated, quarantined compound called District 9. Over time, due to mass reproduction and an unjust economy within the district, their living conditions have been reduced to a massive slum. Understanding that District 9 has become uninhabitable, and needing to better regulate the alien race, the government decides to relocate the p