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parole who works in a Los Angeles defense factory where droids are manufactured. That's where he is inadvertently contaminated by radiation - talk about a protagonist's undeserved misfortune! and told that because of his cancer virus, he has only five days to live. Max comes up with a plan that will save his life, at least temporarily. But he has to team up with a group of revolutionaries who are trying to open Elysium and its privileged populace to everyone.
Standing in their way and Max's is the villainous head of the Elysium Civil Cooperation Bureau, Secretary Delacourt, played in a strangely stilted (and, frankly and surprisingly, amateurish) fashion by an off-her-game Jodie Foster.
Aided by a sadistically violent secret-police henchman played by Sharto Copley (the hero of District 9 turns villain for the same director), she follows her mandate to shoot down any illegal spaceship attempting to approach Elysium's orbit, which is exactly what Max and his new partners have in mind.
The thoughtfully pessimistic and socially conscious screenplay by director and co-producer Neill Blomkamp has more than pure escapism on its mind immigration comes into play, as do environmental decay, health care, class conflict, and income disparity but it's ultimately an action piece and isn't in any way preachy.
"Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night." Gloria Steinem
Elysium takes place a hundred years from now and Earth is one big, over-crowded slum. It doesn't matter what happened but it must have been nuclear. It's dangerous to breathe the polluted air. Anyhow, the extremely rich have abandoned Earth and moved to an artificially-constructed world in space. It's a step up from Heaven where robots do all the work and take orders. Elysium is efficiently run by security chief Delacourt (Jodie Foster).
I've been to South Africa, home to writer/director Neill Blomkamp. Our driver took us to a hill overlooking the famous Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the largest slum in Africa and third largest in the world. We refused his suggestion of a tour of the slum, shocked at the idea of gawking at poor people from a car window. I did not know it was a favorite spot for tourism.
I've been to Rio de Janeiro many times, but still have not done the very popular "slum tour." Today at least seven tour operators operate tours in Rio's Rocinha the largest favela in Brazil - and visiting the location has become a "must do" for many foreign tourists. It is estimated that at least 3500 tourists visit Rocinha every month paying around $35 for a tour with an average duration of three hours.