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WHEN DID NIGERIA BECOME A SLUM IN DISTRICT 9 AT JOHANNESBURG?

district9posterI am a diehard fan of Peter Jackson, especially after watching the Lord of the Ring series rack up the Oscars with excellent display of modern film artistry. I went as far as purchasing the Editors Cut of the movie containing twelve DVDs with extended edition. Watching his remake of King Kong was also breathtaking, especially how he succeeded in recreating the lost island in order to give more life to the reality of finding prehistoric creatures there. Jackson is a master at imaginative delivery of stories, and he has succeeded in doing all this outside Hollywood. Lord of the Rings was entirely done outside of the Hollywood apparatus, proving that creativity knows no bound and the much money spent in paying so called stars only goes to increasing the cost of movie making. His new movie, ‘District 9’ was also produced without any big stars and shot entirely in South Africa. It is a recreation of a short movie by Neill Blomkamp called ‘Alive in Joburg’ Kudos to him!

I stepped into the Cinema over the weekend, hand on my imaginary hat, getting ready to tip it for another amazing production, but walked out of that cinema with mixed feelings.  As usual, the movie was brilliantly executed, the story was a departure from the normal alien attacks, and the effects were superb. However something in the movie sparked up a negative emotion within me as others chose to laugh off as truth what was a negative characterization of the Nigerian people as a whole. You see in the movie, the aliens were confined to a place called District 9 where they lived continuously for about twenty years and expanded the area in to a huge slum with normal social interactions, including buying and selling. But, as crazily plotted by the writers, a Nigerian gang also situated themselves within District 9, and became a dangerous armed group doing scams, especially with cat food, which was an alien delicacy. Get it right, the Nigerians being referred to here were not aliens, but real humans. I then wondered what the sense was in creating such a plot, where humans choose to go live with very ugly and disgusting crustacean-like creatures, and mainly Nigerians for that matter.
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