District 9

Film Review by Michael Lawson | 29 Dec 2009
  • District 9
Film title: District 9
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope
Release date: 28 Dec
Certificate: 15

With a formal approach in keeping with the Youtube era of digital filmmaking, Neill Blompkamp’s debut is an exciting and provocative rush, its success testament to the increasing sophistication of a modern audience and to the audacity and boldness of emerging mainstream talents like Blomkamp. By now you’ll know the film’s plot - aliens are segregated in South African shantytowns after their earthly arrival – but while the obvious Apartheid parallels are there, Blomkamp sees the film as a more universal and prophetic take on otherness, the growing class divide, and its consequences on an increasingly globalised world (on the commentary, Blomkamp addresses issues of bad taste and the controversial but, he argues, satirical, depiction of the Nigerian characters). Owing much to the early films of producer Peter Jackson (as well as such literary sources as The Purple Cloud, The Island of Dr Moreau and Fugue for a Darkening Island), this is a far more original and contemporary tale than the similarly themed (but much more expensive) Avatar.