Category Archives: apartheid

District 9

District 9 ~ Despite what one might think, there’s not a lot of shaky cam going on here, but it has all the intensity of those types of films. While this scifi flick from Neill Blomkamp starts off with documentary news footage style and seems to be an Apartheid analogy (even though the ‘A’ word is never mentioned) it fairly quickly and dramatically becomes something else entirely.

Decades ago a gigantic spaceship enters the atmosphere and hovers fixed over Johannesburg. The alien population on board is brought down and placed into a tent community until it’s decided what to do with them. The integration doesn’t go well until the present when the South African government basically determines to put the aliens into what are basically concentration camps. Documentary cameras accompany the ‘eviction’ of the aliens.

Non-actor Sharlto Copley plays the patsy in charge of the operation. At first an extremely unlikable character, when he discovers an alien device the movie charges into overdrive. Over the course of the film he becomes not only sympathetic, but also turns in an amazing acting tour-de-force, despite most of his performance being ad-libbed. And when we finally start to see the aliens’ story from their point of view, it becomes a whole new movie.

District 9 is equal parts Alien Nation, Enemy Mine and David Cronenberg’s The Fly. It’s a story of survival, triumph and trust with a very intense ending. There’s even better mecha action than either of the Transformers movies. This is must see.

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