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workers of the galaxy unite!

District 9 portrays first contact between humanity and an alien species taking place in post-apartheid South Africa, with the intergalactic visitors eventually herded into a gigantic slum. The film lurches unevenly between mockumentary and thriller, with the former much more successful than the latter. In some ways, the original short version, Alive in Joberg (embedded above) is more interesting, not least because it’s set in the apartheid era, and because it’s more anthropological and less driven by a conventional filmic narrative. Nonetheless, District 9‘s definitely worth seeing, especially the first half.

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Jeff Sparrow is the former editor of Overland. He is the co-author (with Jill Sparrow) of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History and Radical Melbourne 2: The Enemy Within, the editor (with Antony Loewenstein) of Left Turn: Essays for the New Left and the author of Communism: a love story, Killing: Misadventures in violence, and Money Shot: A Journey into Censorship and Porn.  On Twitter, he's @Jeff_Sparrow.

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