Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How is Prejudice Overcome? (District 9, 2009)

#92-- District 9 (2009)

Wickus has been appointed an important task, which he is thrilled to fulfill.  It means a promotion and higher esteem in the government in which he works.  He and his team must serve eviction notices to the “prawns” who live in the alien—as in aliens from space— refugee camp.  They have been living a sickening, poor existence outside of Johannesburg, and it is time they moved on. 

In the midst of this increasingly complicated task, Wickus is infected with an alien chemical, which makes him terribly sick.  Bit by bit, he was turning into an alien.  He hoped his company would deliver him from his terrible fate of turning into one of these monsterous prawns, but they only used him as an experiment.

The only way to truly overcome oppression is to make the oppressors become that which they despise.  Only the deepest empathy overcomes our instinct to protect “our own” from that which fear.  Wickus only learned to appreciate the prawns after he became one and he lived among them.  Only then could he understand their motivation and their hopes.  

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