Science Fiction

‘District 9’ is in the upper echelon of science-fiction films with a message, a moral, and a mech suit

Generally speaking, I don’t like to be lectured. It brings back painful memories of my childhood, when my father would continually admonish me for being untidy, killing the family pets, and digging up my dead sister for Saturday night ‘dates.’ I especially dislike preaching about race relations, because ever since flipping past The O’Reilly Factor while channel surfing, I’ve become convinced that only communist agitators and terrorists complain about racism. But I’ll make a special exception for director Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, because it mixes its didactic moralizing with giant bugs and the mechanized body armour from Robot Jox.

‘District 9’ is as close to perfection as it gets

South Africa has been to hell and back during the past century. Famine, corruption, AIDS and the apartheid era have seriously hindered the country’s chances of becoming a serious player within the African continent. A few years ago, local director Neill Blomkamp produced a short film entitled Alive in Joburg, a 6-minute science fiction “documentary” that would eventually be expanded to become District 9. The aforementioned short was so well made that Peter Jackson commissioned Blomkamp to direct the ill-fated Halo movie, but when that project fell through, Jackson felt that his South African counterpart should have another shot at directing a full-length film.

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