After the immense success of District 9, a lot of people had high expectations for writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up film, Elysium. District 9 was the first “mockumentary” nominated for an Academy Award, and in addition to providing a gripping story, it still managed to tackle some very serious subjects, such as racism and xenophobia (represented as speciesism).
One of the best quotes about the film is from Chris Mikesell from the Hawaii newspaper Ka Leo who wrote: “Substitute ‘black,’ ‘Asian,’ ‘Mexican,’ ‘illegal,’ ‘Jew,’ or any number of different labels for the word ‘prawn’ in this film and you will hear the hidden truth behind the dialogue”.
While Elysium doesn’t profess to be as thought-provoking, it too attempts to address serious issues, such as segregation, class distinctions and gross abuse of power. Still, it is very much a sci-fi action thriller which, though enjoyable, does not have nearly the same impact as did District 9.
On this episode of Popcorn Ronin, Vince and I discuss these two films and give our thoughts on the stories, the political climate in the filming zones, as well as Cadillac pistons.
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