I shouldn’t have read the reviews before hand. That was probably the only thing that detracted from my enjoyment of the movie. I was mistakenly led to believe that it was about apartheid or rather that apartheid was the primary metaphor that the movie was alluding to. It seems to be more about immigration and at a deeper level how we view… um… aliens; the movie sorts and the other more close to home beggars in the street, software engineers in our companies, labourers etc. etc.
I’m not too much into alien movies and I did find their appearance a quite yuk in a sufficiently hollywood kind of way but the genius of the movie for me was how I really warmed to the aliens Christopher Johnson and his son. From being faintly repulsed to sympathy and pity, I moved towards identifying with them. Now if only prejudice at all levels could be moved so easily.
But it is true that only by in some sense giving yourself up (in Van der Merve the main character’s case, not very willingly) and seeing the world from the other side that’s when the world stretches and changes into something you haven’t been in before.
The film leaves me wondering whether it’s only a drastic accident like what Van der Merve goes through that’s going to push us towards giving ourselves up for the sake of knowing/loving the other. The frustration for me as a Christian is that despite Jesus’ death which has broken the dividing walls and freed us from our tribalism we still have a lot of prejudicial divisions in church . I don’t know. Maybe Christopher Johnson will come back in District 10 with a clearer answer.