Current law in the American states incorporates the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) or similar formulations, which include the medical criteria for defining death established by the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School 1968. The following characteristic is essential: No movements or breathing–all spontaneous muscular movement, spontaneous respiration and response to stimuli are absent.
This means: A human body capable of neural activity for spontaneous movements deserves the status of a human person and should not be killed (for instance to harvesting organs).
I too understood the movie as a criticism of the apartheid.
However it is important to realize that the mischief of the apartheid consists in denying personal rights to African people who visibly shows human anatomy and therefore unequivocally belongs to Humanity. The supporters of the apartheid assigned personal rights on the basis of the belonging to a subgroup of Humanity instead of the belonging to Humanity: they encouraged state repression of Black African, Coloured, and Asian South Africans for the benefit of the nation’s minority white population.
The supporters of the apartheid treated humans as non-humans, saw humans as “not us”.
On the one hand, since the moment God declares that He makes the humankind in His image, and thereby defines humanity and the human body, each accountable human has to respect any creature with human body as an Image Bearer deserving personal rights.
On the other hand, it is tricky trying to assign personal rights by anything other than the human body: This would lead to found law on arbitrary feelings, opening the door to any kind of segregation, to see humans as “not us”.