Wednesday, 9 October 2013

District 9

It’s rare to see a film made with such enthusiasm. District 9 (2009) combines horror and sci-fi in a South African / New Zealand co-production which presents a refreshing new approach for this type of movie. The feature debut of South African director Neill Blomkamp, who also co-scripted the film along with Terri Tatchell, was produced by the Lord of the Rings himself, Peter Jackson. Set in present day South Africa the film starts with a mockumentary, its 1982 a giant dilapidated spacecraft appears over Johannesburg: when the authorities force an entry they find more than a million unsophisticated, malnourished beings. The authorities are obliged to take responsibility and they bring the creatures to earth and confine them to a camp called District 9, a squalid slum where they are excluded from participation with large sections of the community and subject to violent raids by the authorities. (Analogy of apartheid?) The creatures are seven foot tall, similar to the creatures in Starship Troopers (1997) and are given the name ‘prawns’ Forward to present day, trouble starts when its decided to relocate the prawns because of the mounting opposition to the creatures from all forms of society.  The way the films been produced adds an authentic, gritty, documentary feel and this is helped by casting mainly unknown actors including Shalto Copley in his first major feature film. It’s emotionally stunning and gripping keeping you on the edge of your seat for its complete length. If you have the slightest appreciation for this type of genre, it’s well worth a look. 

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