‘District 9′ Not Welcome in Nigeria


District 9 accused of Nigerian racism

District 9 accused of Nigerian racism

Nigerian Information Minister Dora Akunyili has asked movie houses in the capital of Abuja to stop screening Neill Blomkamp’s District 9. It seems they’re not happy about the film’s portrayal of Nigerians as gangsters and cannibals.

“We have directed that they should stop public screening of the film,” Akunyili said. “We are not happy about it because it portrays Nigeria in bad light. We have written to the producer and distributor of the film, Sony Entertainment, expressing our displeasure and demanded an apology. We have asked that the areas where Nigeria and Obasanjo are mentioned should be edited from the film.”

Just in case you didn’t know, Obasanjo is the name of a former Nigerian President whilst Obesandjo is the name of the head Nigerian crime lord in the film.

No comment has been received from Sony and rightly so. Those that agree with the District 9 Hates Nigerians Facebook camp should lighten up.  District 9 doesn’t single out all Nigerians anymore than it singles out all white people for being war mongering profiteers with zero morals or all scientists for their zombie-like inhumaneness.

The film quite expertly paints an ethical question on virtually everyone (human at least) that appears in the film – even the protagonist Wikus (Sharlto Copley) is painted in a poor light for most of the story.

Not all Nigerians see Blomkamp’s film as racist towards them, as evidenced by an intelligent article titled ‘Why District 9 isn’t racist against Nigerians’ written for the Guardian Film Blog by a Nigerian writer   Here’s an excerpt from that article:

If District 9 really does hate Nigerians, it clearly hates its powerful, white characters even more. Objecting to Nigerians being portrayed as morally bankrupt criminals seems pointless when almost every group of characters in the film have little or no regard for the law.

The company in charge of shipping the aliens out of the country, MNU, and many of the white politicians giving the orders are invariably ignorant, double-crossing and corrupt. The soldiers come across as mind-controlled thugs, using violent threats and tricking aliens into signing dubious eviction notices. Scientists carry out underhand experiments on captured “Prawns”; the aliens arm themselves with illegal weapons and brawl in the streets.District 9 is neither racist nor xenophobic.

…South African director Neill Blomkamp has made an astonishingly thought-provoking and intelligent film that in turn assumes intelligent thinking from his audience.

To my mind that hits the nail on the head.

Source(s): Access Hollywood / Guardian Film Blog



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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 at 6:10 pm and is filed under All News, Movie News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “‘District 9′ Not Welcome in Nigeria”

  1. Abe said:

    Gee, dont show any blatant bias towards the movie and against nigerians or anything….

  2. Guy said:

    Blatant bias towards the movie? If someone likes District 9 are you gonna claim that they are therefore biased and against Nigerians? Ridiculous. It’s clear to me that District 9 isn’t against Nigerians, it’s against the moral deficiencies of humanity as a whole. It’s also clear to me that this article isn’t against Nigerians either, it’s against stupid people. Perhaps that’s what you’re actually upset about.

  3. Paul Jenkins said:

    District 9 is very thought provoking. If the film was made in the U.S. it would have it’s own racial inclinations, and the fact that South Africa has a racial past is at least explored. I have read some Sci-fi where racial customs are carried into the future, and on other planets. There are many sci-fi novels where segregation between white landowners and black laborer exist. We live in a racial society, I listen to a Clear Channel radio station during the late-night to hear Coast to Coast AM, however in the morining the station is downright offensive, constantly using terms like “They, their community, them, and even those people.” It’s true, whites focus on race a great deal, the fact that we are in an Anglo dominated world leaves most with little to compare with.