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Nigeria 'offended' by sci-fi film

By BBC


Nigeria's government is asking cinemas to stop showing a science fiction film, District Nine, that it says denigrates the country's image.

Information Minister Dora Akunyili told the BBC's Network Africa programme that she had asked the makers of the film, Sony, for an apology.

She says the film portrays Nigerians as cannibals, criminals and prostitutes.

An actor from the film said that it was not just Nigerians who were portrayed as villains.

The Malawian actor, Eugene Khumbanyiwa, plays a gang leader with the nickname of Obasanjo, also the surname of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The film is about alien refugees who set up home in a South African shanty town called District Nine.

It is a loose allegory about apartheid and recent violence by South Africans against foreigners.

Ms Akunyili said it clearly took aim at Nigerians.

"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 said.

"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."