Digital Particpation: District 9 Film Review
So in keeping with theme of African sci-fi I wanted to experience a taste of cinematic African sci-fi. I had read on our blog another student’s review of this movie and I had to check it out. I had first experienced director Neill Blomkamp with his underwhelming first film Elysium. District 9 however blows that film out of the water. The film is set in an alternate universe Johannesburg, South Africa. In this universe alien spaceships have descended upon JoBurg and the aliens called “prawns” have settled into camps called “District 9.” Humans in South Africa are not happy by this and treat the aliens with violence. The movie really kicks off when a human government official Wikus gets sprayed with some Alien fluid when making a raid in District 9. The fluid starts turning Wikus into one of the aliens and causes him to hunt down a way for him to get cured. The movie is a hard watch because the scenes of Wikus slowly turning into an alien is surprisingly heartbreaking. Especially when his own human race rejects him. It is also interesting how realistic they portray life around the aliens. For instance, gangs start to make trades and set up businesses with the aliens, creating commerce. I really think this film should be shown in congruence with the class. This film deals with a lot of themes we read/learned about in class. For instance, the aliens experience a lot of xenophobia and racism which mirrors what black Africans experienced during apartheid. The isolation that Wikus experiences when he gets infected with the alien fluid is similar to what people who have HIV/AIDS experienced in South Africa. This film is actually a fantastic sci-fi film, easily one of the best I’ve ever seen. There is even a cool robot mecha suit battle near the end. Go watch this movie!