District 9 is a hit science-fiction cinema film from few years ago. I refreshed my memory of it lately, watching it in TV. My opinion on it, hasn’t changed after all those years. What’s my opinion? Continue reading.
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Country: SAR (Neill Blomkamp), New Zealand, Canada, USA
Time: 112 minutes
In an alternate 1982, an alien spacecraft stops above Johannesburg (South African Republic). Its passengers are sick and weak aliens, later derogatory nicknamed as “prawns”. The SAR government confines them to District 9, a government camp that is located outside of Johannesburg. Following periodic conflict between the aliens and the locals living near District 9, the government hires private military company Multinational United (MNU) to relocate the aliens to a new camp…
I could write a shortest review: It’s great, you should watch it even if you don’t like sf”. It’s more than just about aliens. They are another species, so it’d be speciesism, but the same things apply to racism (not only the apartheid, like in South African Republic), xenophobia or attitudes towards immigrants and refugees.
It’s filmed in the format of a document, which was a very good idea. A lot of people are speaking on the camera so it gives you a better idea on people’s attitudes than just hearing it out any other way. The camera focuses on Wikus van de Merwe, who is in charge of relocating the aliens to a camp 200 km away. It’s his story. At first he’s just like any other humans – “prawns”, saying bullshit about the relocation, just wanting to do the task and prove himself. After the accident he changes and we see humans showing really ugly faces. Nothing is “sacred” and everything is used to achieve their own goals. If you hadn’t been vouching for the aliens from the beginning, you’ll do so after Vikus’ accident and you will likely hope for the people to not succeed.
There are no famous faces around, so you don’t get distracted by it. I also like the fact that finally the aliens haven’t landed in the USA (they make a fun of it in the beginning), but in South Africa. The aliens don’t speak English or other human languages. And they don’t look like humans. That’s great, from the point of s-f film.
During watching I hadn’t found any failures. If they were, they get covered well. But thinking about this for the review, I decided that despite the action set in Africa, most of the main characters are “white”. Africans are usually regular citizens (speaking on the streets) or the Nigerians who are black traders. Ok, there are also Africans in the MNU as officers and soldiers, but they are rather the background. MNU’s CEO (African) isn’t showing too often either. The surprise party thrown for Vikus is surprisingly “white” too. I can’t decide if this was on purpose (even after apartheid ended people befriending others based on skin colour) or just an accident.
I’ll repeat myself, but I recommend this film.
My opinion: 9.5/10.
Did you watch it? What do you think of this film?