DVD Review: District 9

Originally posted on another site on 30 January 2010.

District 9Well, what can I say about this movie? District 9 is definitely a movie with a difference. It starts out as documentary type viewing, with news footage and fake interviews. In all honesty, I was bored for a while and didn’t think I’d see the movie through to the end. However, my partner sat thoroughly engrossed and was even in fits of laughter at times. I guess I was too tired to appreciate the jokes.

But then things turned more serious and although we still saw occasional bits of the documentary side of the movie, the viewpoint mainly changed to the main character (and script writer). From this point, my boredom subsided and I became more interested in what was happening. Basically, the story is about an alien ship that arrived over the South African city of Johannesburg in the late 1980’s. Something was wrong with the ship and the aliens couldn’t return to their own planet, so they were transferred into an area called District 9, which promptly became a slum. Twenty years later there’s over 1.8 million aliens living in District 9.

This is a science fiction movie that is totally different to all the other movies of the same genre. When it finished, my partner looked at me and asked if I liked it. I couldn’t give an answer. I didn’t, at first, but it grew on me. I believe I appreciated it even more long after the end credits rolled up and I had had a chance to think about the messages the movie left me with.

In my opinion, the theme of the movie is to do with racism and segregation. How we discriminate against other people and those less fortunate than ourselves. How we show no tolerance for other people’s ways. How we can’t accept that not all people are the same – as in their beliefs, their education, their customs.

The aliens in this movie were a joke to begin with. The things they were shown doing, such as feasting on tyres, were ridiculous. The main character treated them like imbeciles. But then, when events changed and the movie became more serious, we were shown the other side of the aliens. The main character was running for his life and he found help from the aliens. He discovered they had feelings and fears, that they wanted something better for their young. A comradeship formed between him and one of the aliens that, at the beginning of the movie, you wouldn’t have believed possible.

If you want to watch something different and thought provoking, then watch District 9.

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