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Alive in Joburg (2006)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,577 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

An eerie tale of a close encounter of the third kind in Johannesburg.

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Cast overview:
Braam Greyling ...
Cop 1
Godfrey Seome ...
Cop 2
Dawie Ackermann ...
Afrikaans Professor
Sweetness Hlomza
Patrick Hlomza
Bennet Mogobithla
Zakiel Mogobithla
Jess Newing
Scott Donaldson
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An eerie tale of a close encounter of the third kind in Johannesburg.

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Short | Sci-Fi

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6 September 2006 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Živi u Johanesburgu  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Alien: We don't want to be here, this place doesn't want us... we have nothing, nothing.
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Connections

Referenced in Troldspejlet: Episode #42.2 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Clever but not clever enough although the direction and effects are good
28 November 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A documentary looking back a decade whenever aliens arrived in the already divided city of Johannesburg. The film shows the modern day enforcement action being taken against the inhabitants while also interviewing the original residents of the city as to why the tensions and divisions are only getting worse.

I cannot remember how I stumbled into this film but I suspect it was as a result of the buzz surrounding director Blomkamp and some of the projects he has been associated with of late. Set in South Africa the film is a strange mix of social commentary, sci-fi and special effects. So we get an impressive (for the budget) gunfight with a robotic-style alien combined with heavy linkages between the treatment of the aliens in the film and the treatment of blacks within South Africa. It is quite cleverly done but not as clever as some have suggested here. The metaphor is a good one but it is perhaps not as subtle as I would have liked and, even at 6 minutes long I still felt myself thinking "yeah, the aliens = black people, I get it". I am being a bit harsh on it of course and this "failing" (my words only) is not that big a deal.

Even if this aspect is a bit obvious, the "message" is not overly rammed down our throats but rather left hanging there. I would have liked it to ask its questions more obviously to the audience to force you beyond the simple message and make the audience question their own view on the aliens. Personally I did have a bit of a thought process about supporting the action against the aliens and I would have liked the film to guide me more down this bigoted path before pulling me back and confronting me with my own thoughts – as it is though the script is not smart enough to make that happen to the degree I would have liked.

Blomkamp's direction is good though and I did think that the budget was well used in the effects and the way they were delivered (the use of news style footage helped cover the limitations of the effects at some points). Overall then an interesting but perhaps too obvious film that delivers it message in a solid manner but didn't confront and challenge me as a viewer in the way that it could have done with more subtly and guile about it.


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