District 9 Background

District 9 Background

District 9 is Neil Blomkamp's 2009 film that tells the story of an alien spacecraft that lands on Earth in the early 1980's. The aliens, however, have not arrived to destroy Earth or to render Earth's people aid; they have landed on Earth as refugees, escaping from their dying planet. Hoping to make sure the aliens aren't causing trouble and hoping that they can adapt the alien's technology, the people of Earth create a company, Multi-National United to look over them and their daily musings. However, when an agent from the aforementioned Multi-National United contracts an unknown virus that profoundly affects him, he must hide.

In its broad contours, District 9 is based on events from the apartheid era, particularly those in District Six, Cape Town. The movie, as with many of Blomkamp's films, is based on one of his short films (in this case, Alive in Joburg).Themes include racism, xenophobia, and acceptance. In essence, though, the film serves as an allegory to events of the past.

Upon release, the film was met with tremendous critical acclaim. Says Sara Vilkomerson of The New York Observer wrote, "District 9 is the most exciting science fiction movie to come along in ages; definitely the most thrilling film of the summer; and quite possibly the best film I've seen all year." At the time of writing, the film holds a 90% approval rating on review aggreagator Rotten Tomatoes. It was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but lost out to Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker.

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