10 06 2011

District 9

Get your fokkin’ tentacle out of my face!

Not long ago my friends and I sat down to talk about all things Star Trek, and in a spin off we came to all things science fiction and a search for something deep in modern day sci-fi, something meaningful.

I thought for a while and suggested if they sought material to really touch their souls, they’d better watch District 9. Here’s why.

The movie is a South African production which in itself already tells you to expect a surprise. During the very first minutes the film fools you with a documentary-like footage of personal reflections about some dude named Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley); you are guessing something’s gone terribly wrong, he’s their colleague and he’s done something bad.

You hear people say stuff, observe their facial expressions and body language filled with caution not to say a word inappropriately or give out an uncalled for impression, filled with shock; and slowly but steadily you are being led on to the heart of the story. You hear words that make you think about something you don’t want to think about. It’s called apartheid.

Turns out, there’s been an alien landing in their area, and the way the authorities mishandled first contact, invited an interplanetary nightmare. The site becomes a closely watched settlement on lock down, a ghetto.

The film isn’t shy about some horrible stuff that goes down in the reservation, showing who’s doing what and for what reasons.

Aliens are called ‘prawns’ in the movie. They can’t go back to their home world now. They need to fix their spacecraft and they seem to have given up, but there’s one of them still holding on to that dream. Watch the movie to find out what happens to his endeavor once Wikus comes into the picture, and what then happens to Wikus…

The movie explores the dark side of humanity, the complexity of human nature, reflects upon painful parts of our own recent history by projecting events the way it can only be done in the genre of science fiction.

Compliments to the movie crew directed by Neill Blomkamp – excellent acting is well embroidered into the canvas of the setting, paired with highly expressive laconic speech worth quoting, accompanied by fantastic high tech arrangement with state of the art aliens and shot from a rather chilling perspective.

District 9, the movie you won’t forget.

Copyright Camilla Stein ©2011. All rights reserved.

Watch District 9 trailer here



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