16 August 2009

District 9

Spanks - 5

Director - Neill Blomkamp

Writer - Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell

Starring - Sharlto Copley, Mandla Gaduka, William Allen Young & Jason Cope

Release Date - 14 August 09

MPAA Rating - R

District 9 is more proof that you don't need one hundred plus million dollars to make a science fiction/action film look great. The "Prawns" in the film look more real than any other CGI created character all summer and its total budget was only 30 million dollars. Compared to Transformers and G.I. Joe whose budgets were above 150 million each.

The film is shot partially in documentary style. The second act is shot as a typical fiction film, while the first and third act are documentary. By doing it this way, you get a better understanding of the District 9 world. The film tells the story of the government of South Africa and the company, Multi National United evicting and relocating the almost two million alien refugees (called negatively by the humans as Prawns) who showed up over the city of Johannesburg twenty something years earlier. MNU assigns Wikus van der Merwe to lead the relocation and the "documentary film crew" follows him into District 9. As with any forced relocation, the aliens resist. Problems also persist with the Nigerian gang who run a black market for the aliens.

The film is an allegory for racism in the world whether it is the way African Americans were treated in the United States after the Civil War until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's or, since the director is from South Africa, the Apartheid that lasted up into to 1990's. The "Prawns" representing the repressed group.

The movie is also different in that the aliens are not here to take over and destroy humanity even though they have better technology and well advanced weaponry. The filmmakers don't shove the racism thing down your throat, so you don't have to worry about being preached to about being caring and loving to all living beings. District 9 is the best film of the 2009 summer so far, and I don't see another film topping it this season.

District 9 is based off of Neill Blomkamp's 2005 short film Alive in Joburg. Check it out onSpy Films. It is only six minutes long.

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