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District 9 (2009)

Elevator Pitch

Back in the 1980s a vast alien spaceship is suddenly seen to be hovering over Johannesburg and on investigation it is found to be full of distressed aliens who are relocated to a shack city where they live in squalor. Later the “prawns” are to be evicted in an operation controlled by the MNU corporation and led by a man who accidentally becomes contaminated with an alien fluid and begins to become a prawn himself. His new ability to operate alien weapons results in him becoming a fugitive, but also provides him with the means of survival.


The film is presented in part as a sort of documentary with the many speeches to camera but once the action starts the process is discarded. There are harrowing scenes as the contaminated man is experimented on in a government laboratory and even more harrowing scenes after he escapes and is captured by a Nigerian gang who intend to cut off his alien appendages with machetes. Thereafter several increasingly intense shoot-outs with modern firearms and alien weapons. No nudity or sex, just a bit of drinking and quite a lot of swearing.

A View Back in 2009 I saw this in the cinema and was impressed, as were others since it was nominated for a number of Oscars (but did not win any), and made a lot of money. On re-viewing it was still fascinating although I felt that there was a certain lack of logic in aspects of the plot. However, well worth your time if you like a bit of allegorical scifi.
Duration 1h 52m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay loosely based on events in South Africa during the apartheid years.
Director Neill Blomkamp
Writers/Script Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Starring Shartlo Copley, David James, Jason Cope
Additional Info The main character is Wikus Van De Merwe, apparently a name which is associated with jokes about a very foolish or incompetent Africaaners.


About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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