If you have not seen District 9, you have done yourself a disservice. To give you an idea of why you should see it, watch this trailer. Failing that, you should know it was produced by Peter Jackson whose WETA effects studio was at the beck and call of new director Neill Blomkamp. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, where an alien ship appeared in the sky 20 years ago. Inside the ship were malnourished alien refugees. They are taken down from the floating ship and given temporary housing in a refugee camp outside Johannesburg, but remain there, within its fortified walls, 20 years later. The city’s residents grew impatient with their presence and hired the MNU corporation to “evict” them to a new camp farther away from the city.
Shot in documentary style. Effects that work. Good writing. Everyone is dirty; with ringing echoes of apartheid, there are no clear protagonists. And that’s the most difficult part of the movie, taking it well beyond what you’d expect in your usual summer blockbuster. It actually has thoughts. I’m as surprised by this movie as you are, or will be. Hadn’t heard of it until friday when I read a review, and then later overheard someone who’d seen it rave about it. So I had to see for myself. Hopefully, there’s a cinema near you that’s playing it; damn shame it didn’t get full release.