Becoming the alien: apartheid, racism and District 9

October 31, 2010

District 9 is the best movie I have yet seen about South Africa - and specifically, one of the most penetrating, disconcerting and subversive meditations on the nature of racism and repression in the post-colonial world. District 9 is fresh and transgressive, hilariously funny and absolutely horrifying: brutal, sly, streetwise and in your face. It's not a voice from the ghetto - it is, completely and incontrovertibly, a white voice - but is a voice from the postcolonial periphery; a voice speaking harshly, grittily and urgently about the surrealism of racism and the confluence of violence and normality here at the edges of the West's old empire.

An unbelievably engaging review of a brilliant and haunting film. District 9 hit me like a ton of bricks, and Andries' lyrical critique helps to explain why. (For those wondering, this unapologetic and gritty gem currently is streaming on Netflix.)

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