•District 6: •a vibrant multicultural community in Cape Town•60,000 coloured people are relocated from their homes from 1966-82•Resistance begins in 1970s (the Soweto uprisings – protests led by school children)•In 1994, the first multi-cultural democratic elections take place. The African National Congress lead by Nelson Mandela is elected to power on April 27, 1994 (now a national holiday know as ‘freedom day’).
A Short History of Racism: Exclusion, Dehumanization, Demonization (Note how the bus bench sign in the film imitates the style of real-life racist posters.)
Racial Composition and Authority•In the opening interviews, the following people get to speak:-Vikus van der Merwe, MNU Alien Affairs (aliens don’t understand property)-office workers -Grey Bradnam, UKNR Chief Correspondent (setting fires, derailing trains “entertaining”)-Sarah Livingstone, Sociologist, Kent Park University-Francois Moraneau, CIV Engineer Team-Dr. Katrina McKenzie, UIO Aid Worker-Dirk Michaels, MNU CEO – BLACK -Les Feldman, MIL Engineering Team-James Hope, Police Officer-several “common people” – most are black (5 or 6:1), and they suggest that the aliens should leave; one is white, and he suggests that the aliens should be killed with chemical weapons-Images of demonstrators: almost all blackLater:-Louis Vanstone, MNU Senior Auditor – could be mixed race (uncredited)-Clive Henderson, Entomologist, University of WLGWhat can we conclude from this? What point(s) is the film trying to make?
An ApartheidAllegory?•It is quite obvious that the film references the history of Apartheid in South Africa. •However, the film cannot be read simply as a point-by-point allegory.•Rather, the film appears to question the ways in which othernesshas been used throughout history as an excuse to oppress and exploit certain groups – how differenceshave been inscribed into hierarchies and used as instruments of domination.Consider the Nigerians…•Cohabitating in Soweto by choice;•Taking advantage of Aliens’ fixation on cat food;•Running the underground market of food/weapons/sex.Clearly, the film isn’t just making a basic argument concerning white racism. How does the film approach racial difference, and what arguments does it seem to be making?Racism = “the generalized and final assigning of values to real or imaginary differences, to the accuser’s benefit and at his victim’s expense, in order to justify the former’s own privilege or aggression” (Memmi 186). Memmi, Albert. Dominated Man. Boston: Beacon Press, 1968. Print.
Editing and Films Within the Film •Wikus addressing the camera within the documentary filming: Note the corporate logo.(A small handheld Sony ex1 camera was used to shoot the documentary footage for the film-within-the-film.) •TV Newsfeed resembles CNN and BBC TV and other news reporting, with the text at the bottom of the screen.