District 9 is science fiction but science fiction on a very different level. With movies like Transformers, Star Trek and others, you see something cool but not necessarily believable. District 9 comes across as something that could be happening in the world right now.
he background goes as follows. At some point in time, a giant space ship parks itself over Johannesburg, South Africa. Nothing else happens until the brave human race decides to open it up and see what’s inside.
>Inside they find a starving a leaderless alien population that is transferred to camps on the ground for humanitarian reasons. It doesn’t take long, however, before the camps turn into slums and the aliens turn into beings that were saved from death to a race that the humans would rather see dead.
he movie follows the events that take place as the MNU organization carries out a relocation of the whole alien population to what can best be described as concentration camps and the events that occur during this relocation. It deals with issues we can all recognize, such as racism, profiting on the poor and so on.
I don’t want to ruin the plot so I won’t go any further into it at this point. However I do want to point out a few other things about the movie.
I learned from an article in another magazine that there are no Hollywood actors in the movie. I’d have to say that’s about right because I don’t recognize a single character in the movie. Supposedly, this was done on purpose. A lot of the dialogue was also created on the fly to create a sense that both the characters and what they were saying appeared genuine. In addition, the filming has all the marks of a documentary. Much of the movie appears to be an interenal MNU video documentary, supplemented by security camera footage as well as the occasional TV news footage. Again, all of this was done to make the movie seem more realistic.
The obvious question is: did it work?
Without a doubt, I think it did. Of all the sci-fi movies (and other regular fiction as well) I’ve seen in the last couple of years, this movie by far appear to be the most realistic. When you watch it, you actually feel like it really could be happening right now, or last month, in South Africa. It’s a story that’s sad but also eye-opening.
Being a sci-fi movie, there is naturally a ton of cool technology involved, all of it alien. However, for the most part, the technology itself isn’t the focus of the story, it’s merely the tool with which the story is told. The story could just as well have taken place in the New World after Columbus came or in Germany during World War II. As such, the human drama is the main focus of the story and as such, it should appeal to those that may not like sci-fi in itself. Although quite violent and gory at times, it feels very realistic.
Overall, District 9 is a must see movie if you don’t mind a bit of blood and gore here and there. In my book, it’s one of the best movies of the year.