Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope
Colour 112 mins
A vast alien ship sits in the skies over Johannesburg, the 'prawns' (the alien refugees on board) trapped in District 9 a large shanty town. The authorities decide to clear District 9 and relocate the unwanted immigrants. Unfortunately for Sharlto Copley's character delegated to lead the operation who gets exposed to an alien substance and starts turning into one of the aliens himself . . .
This is a great film. It is a gritty realistic believable tale, helped by being shot in a documentary fashion. This is a story about refugees where telling it as Science Fiction enables us to look at refugees and refugee camps afresh. There is a range of people behaving as they really behave, from the government hoping to benefit from alien weaponry to the gangsters selling dubious food to the aliens. Some of its depth will speak more to those in South Africa with the racial tensions there.
Sharlto Copley's character goes on a journey both physical and spiritual, as he changes from man to alien. We go on this painful journey with him, aligning us for the tremendous finale to the film. It would be a shame since there's all that alien weaponry around not to see some of it in action!