District 9 Hits UK

Set in an alternative reality that echos some very real historical events of our past, District 9 is one of the most thought provoking movies produced in years.

Written and produced by Neill Blomkamp, District 9 is inspired by the South African apartheid of District Six, that was declared a whites-only area in 1966 and began the forced the removal of over 60,000 inhabitants.

Created on a budget of just $30 million, it recouped investment during the opening weekend in the United States, making a gross $37,354,308.

It is released in UK cinemas on 4th September.

Besides the disturbing similarities between our not-so-sci-fi history and the story at hand, what the viewer is left with is much more than another bog standard Hollywood production. Perhaps because this is one movie that has very little to do with Hollywood, a gamble that has paid off.

Shot documentary style on the truly awesome RED ONE camera, almost every dollar of the budget has been spent on the visual effects, and it shows.

The basic premise of the story, without giving too much away, begins in 1982 when a stranded alien ship stops above Johannesburg.

28 years later, an MNU field operative, Wikus van de Merwe, is assigned to move the 2 million alien refugees from their slum camp of Disctrict 9, to a new camp 240 kilometers away, called District 10.

The journey then continues with following Wikus and his new found (much to his horror) ability to operate alien technology.

However, back in the real world the movie has sparked criticism from Nigerians, accusing the film of xenophobia as many in the movie play the roles of gangsters and prostitutes.

By Mick Meaney