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District 9

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Has anybody watched District 9? I normally hate sci-fi - but my husband insisted that he wanted to watch having heard about the controversy over the South African film, so we got hold of it from our local pirate dvd store.
I thought it was brilliant - except for a little to much fake blood, ugly creatures, squashy noises and gun fire. I loved the documentary style and the lead actor was brilliant the way he took his character from bumbling and naive, to hardened fighter as quickly as his world fell apart. There was so much anticipation I had to hide behind a sofa cushion and make excuses to go and put the kettle on etc. The squalid township and method of dealing with a situation where the 'aliens' were no longer wanted in that fictional Jo'burg society made me uncomfortable.

But what was so odd, in the midst of all this thought provoking viewing was the reference to the underworld, drug dealing, whoring 'Nigerians' who moved into district 9 to live alongside the aliens - the only people who would stoop so low. If this was the source of all the film's controvosy, then why on earth would Peter Jackson or whoever, not have anticipated this massive blunder and just made up another name? Did no one in the crew think to mention the word 'libel' or 'causing offence' when the film was being made.

Why say 'Nigerians' at all? It's fiction so why not use a fictional name. Why not, 'the Kululuku people' or 'The Eflugeans' - anything! Honestly, it doesn't take that much imagination. When 'Nigerians' is first said on the film, refering to these base criminals - the out and out tactlessness of it - you can't believe your ears - it's a joke. No wonder the film has been banned over there. I think that they are right to be offended. But for everyone else, except perhaps if you happen to be one of the much maligned Nigerians, the film is a rip roaring yarn.

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