Rhetorical Analysis Of District 9

1783 words - 8 pages

Neill Blomkamp directed the film District 9 which was released in 2009. This South African science fiction action thriller was Blomkamp’s first feature film and is an extension of a short film, Alive in Joburg, Blomkamp did in 2006 (IMDb). In the film, aliens have invaded earth and are wanting to live among the humans, but the humans, being the xenophobic society that they are, discriminate the aliens; the aliens are then lead to a ghetto, known as District 9, in which they are to live. As the film progresses, one of the humans (Wikus Van De Merw) is sprayed by some alien chemical and begins to turn into an alien. The film then goes on to show Wikus’ struggle to cope with being half alien. Blomkamp evokes both ethos and pathos to show how the animalistic contemporary society has turned through the geography, film style and character development.
Blomkamp builds the movie’s credibility by demonstrating and providing many accurate depictions of geography. Blomkamp does by extrinsically because he is a South African-Canadian who was born in South Africa and spent the first 18 years of his life there (IMDb). After moving to Canada, Blomkamp continued to visit his hometown yearly. This builds his external ethos because he is able to know exactly what the country is like when it comes to geography, and what the country has gone through in the recent tough times that have hit both Johannesburg and the rest of the world. Andrew O’Hehir of the Salon says that the movie shows the “social realities of contemporary Johannesburg, South Africa” (O’Hehir). This played a role in the making of the film because Blomkamp was able to capture the realities that Johannesburg was going through due to his prior knowledge of the area and history.
The turn from the film being a documentary to a normal film to a documentary again is another thing that builds and decreases both the movie’s intrinsic ethos and the pathos. When the film is a documentary, it provides the movie with a more realistic feeling which makes viewers believe the movie is more credible. When they interview people, it feels like I am there because I have a chance to relate to how the people view the aliens. This is also true for the emotion aspect because it makes me feel like I am going through the same kind of tragedy that both the aliens and humans are going through. It makes people connect more to the film and have a heart to heart connection with the characters. This heart to heart connection makes the viewers have an “awwwwww” moment. When the film turns back into a normal movie, the emotional “awwwwww” part goes away and it just seems like a normal film again. It loses its connection to the audience. I thought it was extremely odd that Blomkamp decided to do this. It makes sense to make it a documentary type movie in order to be able to relate with the audience but then he all of a sudden changes it and takes away that special part of the movie. It would have made more sense to just keep the...

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