Being a fan of Chick Flicks, perhaps you missed this nominee for Best Picture. District 9 was released in the summer of 2009. A time of year when many sci-fi and action movies are released. But District 9 is not your typical science fiction movie. Director Neill Blomkamp filmed this movie in a style that resembles a documentary. It became a big hit, even with the competition of other Summer blockbusters like Star Trek, Harry Potter and Transformers. What makes District 9 worthy of a Best Picture Oscar nomination?
The story of District 9 takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, where 28 years ago an alien starship appears. But unlike other science fiction movies, this alien star ship is more of a life raft than a battle ship. The broken-down craft carries an alien race that is stranded on Earth. After the initial excitement is over, the South African government finds themselves saddled with a growing alien population of refugees. This is where District 9 is different from your basic alien sci-fi movie. The aliens are the underdogs. South Africa contracts with a munitions company to deal with their undesirable refugee problem. The aliens are rounded up into a refugee camp, a militarized ghetto called District 9. In District 9 they live in horrible, filthy conditions. They are exploited and mistreated by criminals who want to get their hands on the aliens weaponry. The citizens don’t want them in their country and as is the case throughout history, bigotry and prejudice sets in.
As I said, District 9 is filmed as though it were a documentary. Through interviews and news stories, we see the corporation, Multi-National United (MNU) go toDistrict 9 to forcibly evict the ‘the Prawns‘ (a racial slur). Wikus van der Merwe is an administrative worker for MNU who is put in charge. But during the eviction of one of the aliens Wikus is exposed to some kind of an alien substance that affects him physically. He must then depend on one of the aliens for help, if he wants to live. I won’t spoil the movie for you, if you haven’t seen it. But District 9 does pose some interesting questions. Even if you are not a science fiction fan you might enjoy it.
This is the first major film Neill Blomkamp has directed. Most of what gives District 9 its realism, (besides the often bloody and violent action scenes) is that there are no major stars. Sharlto Copley who plays Wikus van der Merwe will star as ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock in the upcoming remake of The A Team.
District 9 is nominated for 4 Academy Awards. Film editing, Best picture, Visual effects and Adapted screenplay.
Watch District 9 On Demand at Amazon.com
See what other movie bloggers are saying about District 9:
It’s Just Movies
Action Flick Chick