YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.
Two decades after a ship carrying ailing aliens first appeared in Johannesburg, South Africa, the city is trying to clean up District 9, a ghetto where the newcomers have been banished. A highly original science fiction movie expanded from a short subject that director Neill Blomkamp made in 2005. He came up with the idea as a child growing up under apartheid and those circumstances are cleverly mirrored in the script. Initially shot as a faux TV documentary, the set-up takes some time getting used to but eventually draws you in with inventive visual effects, plenty of tension and an engaging performance by first-timer Sharlto Copley.
2009-U.S.-New Zealand. 112 min. Color. Produced by Peter Jackson, Carolynne Cunningham. Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Screenplay: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell. Cinematography: Trent Opaloch. Editing: Julian Clarke. Cast: Sharlto Copley (Wikus Van De Merwe), Jason Cope (Grey Bradnam), David James (Koobus Venter), Vanessa Haywood, Mandla Gaduka, Kenneth Nkosi.
Last word: “I think if I had to summarize the biggest effect [Peter Jackson’s] had on the movie, it’s the fact that it exists at all. There’s no way I could have gotten this film made as what I wanted to make, without his involvement. So it’s much more than just saying, ‘Go and do what you want’. It’s ‘Can I put a guy in the movie who’s never acted before, but I think he can carry the lead role?’ There’s no way that would have happened if he wasn’t producing it. So he said ‘Yes’. And then, ‘Can they keep South African accents? And they’re thick accents’. ‘Yes’. So that is probably the single biggest thing, is just the fact that he allowed it to happen.” (Blomkamp, A.V. Club)