What do you think aliens really are? Are they big and scary? Are they more advanced than us? Are they violent and ready to wage war? How about political asylum seekers on good old Mother-Earth? Well, that’s the point of departure for Neill Blomkamp‘s 2009 movie called “District 9”.
The story begins in March 1982 when a news report shows the presence of a giant alien base-like aircraft hovering over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. People are interviewed on the streets, yet nobody seems to be in a state of shock. They are somewhat relaxed, because the space vehicle has been there for a month. When authorities finally manage to enter the vessel, they find thousands of malnourished biped aliens, of a human-cockroach like crossbreed. The authorities then decide to house the aliens inside a military guarded camp, called District 9.
Twenty Eight years later, the alien population has reached 1.8 million members. District 9 is overpopulated and the citizens are fed-up with the way these creatures are taking away the tax-payer’s money. To solve this problem, the aliens are to be moved inside a new camp, far away from Johannesburg, called District 10. The movie tries to set itself apart from other alien productions by taking the form of a real life documentary. Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copey) is one of the people responsible with the relocation of these space creatures. He must convince them to sign transfer papers. This is quite strange, because aliens don’t speak English nor do the earthlings speak the grunts and various strange sounds that the aliens communicate in. But everybody seems to understand everybody, at least at a very simple and basic level. Probably the fact that almost three decades have passed since the aliens were rescued from their ship means that some form of mutual comprehension exists.
District 9 is a place where garbage, make-shift homes, pollution and overpopulation are more visible than anything. It is a vivid reminder of African slums. The black market is also present, aliens buying or exchanging technology for morbidly overpriced cat food, something that these creatures have come to love. The story is presented from the point of view of Wikus. He travels through the camp and befriends one of the aliens, who he tries to help escape on the space-craft, still hovering over Johannesburg. The alien will have to help Wikus as well, because he has been exposed to an experimental gas.
This isn’t your typical bad alien/ horrible creature/ horror show/ Gigger kind of movie. The aliens are the ones who are being persecuted, instead of humans. This is, as I said, filmed in a documentary form, which gives it authenticity. It’s packed full of action, drama and perhaps humor, if you take a look at the goofy-looking space creatures. I recommend “District 9” to anyone interested in alien movies and also those who what to take a look at something different. And if this whole thing doesn’t convince you, the movie has an 8.1 score on IMDb…
***OPENING IMAGE SOURCE <<HERE>>