For some reason, I was expecting District 9 to be bad. I might have been harboring resentment due to the fact that I wasn’t sure what it was about. Sometimes that happens, and then I forget why I was originally down on the film. Maybe it got grouped with Cloverfield in my mind, which I also think is bad despite never having seen it.
District 9 was a great sci-fi flick, telling a story that’s a little different than the norm. When an alien ship arrives on Earth over South Africa, the aliens don’t make contact. Their ship just sits their in our sky. Eventually we find them malnourished and seemingly lacking knowledge of their ship. Instead of the aliens being more advanced or looking down on us, humans house them in a slum. The aliens are basically a liability and dependent on us. It’s a bit of a different sci-fi story. Technologically more advanced alien race somehow dependent on us. It also deals with speciesism with humans feeling superior to the alien race. The film is told as a documentary looking back on past events. There’s talking and learning about the situation and relations, but there’s also plenty of action.
It’s based on the actual relocation of citizens of District Six in South Africa under the apartheid regime. The best thing science fiction can do is to comment on the past or present and get people thinking. It puts those events in a new context, which is especially good for people who might not be very familiar.
I don’t know why I wrote the film off when it was released, but I’m glad I’ve watched it now.