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'District 9' Banned in Nigeria

September 21, 2009 08:21:01 GMT

'We feel very bad about this because the film clearly denigrated Nigeria's image by portraying us as if we are cannibals, we are criminals,' explains Nigeria's Information Minister on the reason why.


'District 9' Banned in Nigeria
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"District 9" has become one of 2009 summer hit movies, but it wasn't without any controversy. On Saturday, September 19, Nigeria's Information Minister Dora Akunyili told the BBC's Network Africa programme that the sci-fi movie is not welcomed in the country and that she had ordered the Nigerian film and video censors' board to ask all cinemas to stop showing it.

On the reason why, Akunyili explained, "We feel very bad about this because the film clearly denigrated Nigeria's image by portraying us as if we are cannibals, we are criminals." She was referring to the scene where Eugene Khumbanyiwa's main gangster character, Obesandjo, tries to cut off and eat the arm of the film's protagonist in an attempt to gain his supernatural powers, among others.

The minister also mentioned that the name of the major baddie is very similar to that of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. "The name our former president was clearly spelt out as the head of the criminal gang and our ladies shown like prostitutes sleeping with extra-terrestrial beings," she added.

In addition to demanding the censors' board to confiscate the movie, Akunyili stated that she has appealed to Sony for an apology and the renaming of the Nigerian antagonists. "I have also formally written to Sony Pictures Entertainment, the company that produced this film, demanding an unconditional apology for this unwarranted attack on Nigeria's image," she claimed.

When contacted about the matter, Corlize Luttig, the marketing manager for the South African cinema chain Ster-Kinekor, who represent Sony in South Africa, stated that they were still waiting for comment from Sony's head office in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Nigerian actor Khumbanyiwa suggested that the movie should not be taken too literally. "It's a story, you know," he said. "It's not like Nigerians do eat aliens. Aliens don't even exist in the first place."

Based on short film "Alive in Joburg", "District 9" revolves around aliens that come to the Earth as refugees. Instead of finding a place to regenerate, the extraterrestrial race are forced to live in slum-like conditions in a makeshift home in South Africa's District 9. Called the 'Non-Humans', they now have to work for Multi National United company (MNU).

As tension between the aliens and the humans builds up, Wikus van der Merwe contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable, for he is the key to unlock the secrets of alien technology. Since its release on August 14, the movie has collected $111.6 million in the U.S. only and nearly $126 million worldwide.

© AceShowbiz.com




Post Your Comments

posted by OdJjcrFvRDSRe on Nov 23, 2009
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posted by jay from nigeria on Oct 01, 2009
This movie is not about Nigeria or Nigerians but about a group of aliens that encounter the worst kind of humans. I think it is coincidental that those humans happen to be Nigerians, who can indeed be considered the worst humans, and that the name of the leader of this group of renegade humans is Obedsandjo [which Nigerians want us to believe is the name of Obasanjo, one of the most corrupt, sadistic and demonic leaders ever to live in the annals of human history]. First, the freedom of expression, opinion and the right to caricature, satirize anyone is guaranteed under both international and domestic law. This is the reason why Fahrenheit 911 could not be banned in America or anywhere else. It is the height of criminality, unconstitutionality and the rule of law, for this movie to be banned in Nigeria. After all, the movie is a work of fiction, and anyone or anything can be portrayed in it. Maybe Italians should complain about being portrayed as mafia all the time. At least this movie puts paid to the rebranding efforts of the renegade minister, Akunyili, who was on the verge of stealing millions of dollars for this fruitless and worthless effort. District 9 should be a wake up call for all Nigerians that they need to liberate their country from the criminals and impostors in power and establish a true constitutional democracy of which the world can be proud. if district 9 can serve as the spark for this bloody revolution that the country needs to cleanse its augean stables, I request filmmakers all over the world to continue to use Nigeria and it insane and corrupt leaders as their motif for their movies. To the producers of district 9 keep up the good work. God is with you.
posted by meh. on Sep 28, 2009
I just want to point out that while.. in theory most of the worlds population started out from africa.. not only do we pump billions of dollars into your counrty to support your people who cant feed themselves, but there is no way in hell that any place there will make it to the technological without us. And by the time we get around to that. It would be habitable. Also, get over the whole slaves thing. I wasnt there.. you werent there. Get over it!
posted by anon on Sep 27, 2009
and b4 i 4get Okwy Legacy Awka. you are a big fool. if Obasanjo is a cannibal, let us in Nigeria deal with that ourselves.
posted by anon on Sep 27, 2009
white people are bunch of bastards. africa may be behind but we will get there someday. and to all those fools who support this movie let us the black people deal with our own corruption. we will surely mend our ways someday. after all. this same hopeless and hearthless whites used us as slaves for many years and even now they are still coming to portray us as cannibals and fools they can just use to make money.
posted by Okwy legacy awka. on Sep 25, 2009
2hel wit dora akunyili.its jst a movie nd its nt real bt she is feelin hurt cus she knos dat obasanjo is a cannibal nd she dos nt wan2 publicise it.evrybdy knos
posted by Okwy legacy awka. on Sep 25, 2009
2hel wit dora akunyili.its jst a movie nd its nt real bt she is feelin hurt cus she knos dat obasanjo is a cannibal nd she dos nt wan2 publicise it.evrybdy knos
posted by Okwy legacy awka. on Sep 25, 2009
2hel wit dora akunyili.its jst a movie nd its nt real bt she is feelin hurt cus she knos dat obasanjo is a cannibal nd she dos nt wan2 publicise it.evrybdy knos
posted by Okwy legacy awka. on Sep 25, 2009
2hel wit dora akunyili.its jst a movie nd its nt real bt she is feelin hurt cus she knos dat obasanjo is a cannibal nd she dos nt wan2 publicise it.evrybdy knos
posted by Okwy legacy awka. on Sep 25, 2009
2hel wit dora akunyili.its jst a movie nd its nt real bt she is feelin hurt cus she knos dat obasanjo is a cannibal nd she dos nt wan2 publicise it.evrybdy knos
posted by Tosin on Sep 24, 2009
Reading through some of the comments posted by individuals I am shocked at your crude views. To the person that says nobody wants African in their country, the only reason you feel that way is because all you ever see on the news and whatever TV channel you watch is how everyone in Africa is suffering and how they all need aid to survive. What they do not tell you is that a huge source of revenue also comes from these African countries, where do you think crude oil, cocoa and diamonds come from. This comes to show you that the average person such as yourself believes everything he/she watches on TV, therefore whatever image the media portrays of your country the average person will believe. In case you havenít realise image in everything. To the Canadian person, you say that every time you have dealt with a Nigerian that it has revolved around internet scams and you have based you crude judgement of Nigeria on 5 people in a country of a 150 million people you have based you judgement on 5 people. Ok let me use you analogy then to judge Canada, every interaction I have with Canadian people are people telling to apply for the visa lottery and for a given fee they will all but guarantee success in my application, help in my relocation and help me find employment based on these emails, I believe I can safely say Canadians are lying schemers as well. I have seen the movie District 9 in regards to its story line, I believe it was very good, and in most sci fi movies it is always aliens threaten to take over the earth it was a breath of fresh air to see that another take on the whole alien invasion. However, I do believe their depiction of Nigerians was very inaccurate and crossed the line when they made reference to a former president. I cannot think of any country that will not be insulted by that. However, this is a movie and somebody has to be a bad guy, but this should be done with limits, this because long after the movie gone the images it creates about countries forever last in our minds just think about Russia and the middle east, we all have negative opinions about them this is all based on their portrayal by the media
posted by NUK on Sep 24, 2009
a look at the posts will tell you the effects of the movie.I don't think any country in the world is perfect. Everyone has had their share of bad press. But district 9 is not an excuse, already the word is nigger, racism and kill white people. What next....???
posted by Nominal on Sep 23, 2009
Oops. I forgot. Loved the movie. Great Special Effects. Loved the combat scene at the end. the movie has nothing to do with how we see Nigeria,
posted by Nominal on Sep 23, 2009
I think its funny. Even if the movie was set in Toronto (I am Canadian) It would be exactly the same. We would try to police it, and the gangs would be in there scamming and killing for what they can. Is it our fauly they are mostly black and stupid, and poorly educated. Not so much. Its about Choices. You people stop scamming people and killing people and being involved in drugs and whatnot, and we will stop thinking of your people that way. I have delt with Nigerians about 5 times. Every single time it was someone trying to get me to send money, or my personal information to them. Just because you dont want us to see you that way, doesnt mean thats not how you are.
posted by Anonymous on Sep 23, 2009
i lold alot when they were saying how they dont want them here and it is costing the goverment alot of money to keep them here. then i taught LOL how do you think everyone else feels about africans in there country? no one wants them there and costs the goverment alot to keep them in camps etc lmao
posted by Hargrove on Sep 22, 2009
I think Nigeria should ban the movie, "District 9," and everyone who opposes racism should boycott it. If it's fiction, then it should depict a fictitious nation, instead of using the name of an actual country. Also, the movie covertly denigrates all black people because, even though they are call the people Nigerian, to the observer, they look like ALL black people, consequently it reinforces racist stereotypes.
posted by Anonymous_2 on Sep 22, 2009
Iv seen this movie and i believe its a weird Movie.There are also so many movies in the past from hollywood that depicted the USA president and other government authorities like CIA/FBI as corrupt.Its just a movie,the Nigerian government authority should first fix the major problems in our country like the poor education problems,corruption,lack of essential amenities,poor legislation ,embezzlement and other social problems.I think what happens in Hollywood,nolywood and others are the least of our problems.If the country is good,im sure nobody will notice if DISTRICT 9 is insulting or not.
posted by fuk nigger on Sep 22, 2009
hey they are all animals, the comment 2 up tells that, they need to be shot and strung up....fuk nasty niggers
posted by anon on Sep 22, 2009
whats the fuss? ..its only a movie. A Sci-fi movie for that matter.
posted by Yemmy on Sep 21, 2009
All white folks are stupid racists mongers, kill a white man where ever you see one. Fools.
posted by Anonymous on Sep 21, 2009
Rubbish. This is adding more insult to the injury that has already being caused. This is crying over split milk. Does banning District 9 from Nigeria stops the movie from being watched by Nigerians and non-Nigerians? Banning district 9 from Nigeria solves no thing. Why wasting time...

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