District 9 is a South African Science fiction movie. Produced by Peter Jackson.
The film has a documentary style feel to it, but not too much to be bothered by it. Though the beginning has a lot of handheld camera shots, the dizzying camera is not applied throughout the movie, where some shots are pretty much steady to watch (thankfully! What is up with filming everything in nauseating motion! Quit it!).
A large alien ship stops in orbit above Johannesburg in South Africa in 1982. It is thought a command module must have fallen out (they captured something falling from the ship on camera , but what exactly isn’t sure) and that it is the reason it stayed. Earthlings go explore, seeing for days no sign had been given from the ship. On board they find a million starving aliens in real bad shape. To treat them, they are given asylum on Earth, in District 9. But soon criminal activities and destruction follow, which is counteracted by security measures by Earth and pretty soon the camp has become a slum.
Now we are in the 21st century, the ship still in orbit, the slum containing too many prawns (nickname for the aliens) and they need to be relocated to a new camp outside of Johannesburg, District 10. This is to be done by the MNU, Multinational United, a private military corporation. The relocation is led by field operator Wikus van de Merwe, and you guessed it, he pretty much goes into it with enthusiasm, but soon regrets ever having gotten the task…
INTERESTING TO KNOW:
The underlying theme is clearly xenophobia en social segregation. And similarities can be drawn on contemporary refugee camps. The movie is based on a short film Alive in Joburg (2005) (by the same director Neill Blomkamp and produced by the main actor in both films – and very good, I might add – Sharlto Copley) and the name District 9 is inspired by the events that took place in District Six, Cape Town, during the Apartheid. I did not know of this, and was very interested in reading about it. Another reason why I liked District 9, because it made me think and read.
It was nice to see lesser known actors (at least for me as a European – I don’t know how known they are in South Africa or elsewhere), because it made the movie have a more realistic feel to it for me. As if it was really an event that happened (although in the future of 2010). It made the “documentary” more realistic to me.
Definitely a movie worth seeing. Sci fi fan or not.