District 9 Movie 2009 – Review

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The District 9 movie of 2009 is quality sci-fi in a whole new package. It tells a sad story showing humans from their worst side exactly as we have demonstrated our capacity for cruelty throughout our history – but this time we take it out on a poor and very unfortunate populous, who are not of this world.

A gigantic spaceship appeared over Johannesburg in South Africa 20 years ago. Eventually people got it open and made their way inside only to find a huge number of aliens, who are all in bad shape. It appears as if they are sick. In an attempt to help the aliens they are allowed to leave the ship and live in a military controlled camp near Johannesburg. The alien population counts 1.8 million “prawns” as they are being called due to their facial resemblance to ordinary prawns, but managing a camp of this magnitude quickly proves to be an insurmountable task. A Nigerian warlord sets up a black market, where he profits from selling dog food to the aliens in exchange for whatever he can get his hands on.

The increasing crime combined with the fact the aliens can never be integrated into our society brings the situation to a boiling point and the human population of Johannesburg demand that the camp be moved further away. This is when the private organization MNU is called in to expedite the biggest forced relocation ever to be undertaken. However, the MNU has hidden motives – their only concern is to exploit the aliens and obtain technology such as weaponry. They are unscrupulous and cruel, but this is all kept from the man who is going to be in charge of moving the aliens, Wikus van der Merwe.

Over time he learns about his employers intentions and when he comes in contact with a mysterious liquid it becomes very clear that no life, alien or human, is sacred to the MNU. What the MNU has realized is that only the aliens can operate their weaponry due to some kind of DNA detection – a fail safe possibly. And Wikus’ DNA is suddenly beginning to change after he touched the liquid.

Having nowhere to run Wikus flees deep into the slums of District 9 and hides out in a shack. He is now forced to truly make contact with some of the aliens and he does. Slowly trust is built and his sympathy for these poor people grows (because they are people after all) and towards the end he decides to help them and save himself from the MNU.

District 9 is filmed very differently form what you would normally see, I think I have only seen this done in Cloverfield. Most of the time the camera follows the story much like you would see a camera man from the news following his “story” around. The movie also touches on some key issues of ethical nature – words we toss around like “humane” and “humanity” suddenly appear not to be reserved for the human race. Racism and ignorance are seen in a new angle and were this film indeed a documentary I don’t think I would be much surprised.


Source by Aage K. Jensen

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