Peter Jackson's District 9: On saying it well

I just learned of District 9, a movie by Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp, due to hit theaters on August 14. It's about aliens who land in South Africa.

Actually, it's about humans and non-humans and, I think, about apartheid, segregation, racial fear and globalism (and aliens). Not sure if sci-fi action is your thing, but this kind of marketing fascinates me.

First, the interactive site is captivating and extensive at There is much to do and see there, like clicking on map points to watch realistic interviews of humans discussing questions such as, "Do you feel that the non-humans are taking our jobs?" or, "Do you have a problem with the way non-humans communicate?" Substitute "non-humans" with _____, and you and I could answer these questions, too.

Second, if the movie does end up being a social commentary, then I appreciate Peter and Neill putting the time, money and thoughtfulness into saying what they want to say. (If it doesn't, you can chastise me later.)

Warning: motivation coach ahead.
Not all worldview messages require Halo-esque video game delivery, but if you have something that needs to be said; if you want to awaken people or refresh conversations about important but tiresome topics like racism, then say it well - even with aliens if you have to. Use creativity and technology and collaboration and whatever other resources you have. Tell cryptic, compelling parables like Jesus did. Advocate non-violent sit-ins like MLK did. Powerful and fresh communication methods abound.

What if you just sit in a cubicle designing graphics for Rice-a-Roni? Slim chance that you'll help ease racial tension around the world. But maybe you can employ your talents to awaken us to new ways of addressing hunger in our own D-9's. The point is, you probably have something to say. So say it, and say it well.


Marcus Goodyear July 21, 2009 at 5:53 PM  

Cool. I love scifi. Can't wait for this one.

As to your thoughts about the limitations of easing racial tension while sitting in a cubicle designing boxes of Rice-a-Roni... the best way to do that is to treat the person in the next cubicle with respect.

Every Square Inch July 21, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Sam - perhaps the combination of two overused phrases - "think globally, act locally" with "just do something" is what many Christians need to employ.

We need to get a global vision - the pain of this fallen world as well as a view of what God is doing in this world. We then need to look for opportunities to make a difference in our local environment - as Marcus pointed out... and we then just need to go out and do something!

Sam Van Eman July 21, 2009 at 10:29 PM  

Good and practical thoughts, guys.

Marcus, I like themes, so if I designed boxes of Rice-a-Roni, I'd have to a food-related local/global vision.

I'd try to be respectful, too, of course, but not with as much energy. At least, I wouldn't intentionally think, "Ease racial tension today, Sam."

L.L. Barkat July 24, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

Aliens that land in South Africa. That made me smile.

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