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D-9.com (MNU Local Alert System)


Like Alive in Joburg, the short film on which the feature film is based, the setting of District 9 is inspired by historical events that took place in South Africa during the apartheid era, with the film's title particularly alluding to District Six.

District Six, an inner-city residential area in Cape Town, was declared a "whites only" area by the government in 1966, with 60,000 people forcibly removed and relocated to Cape Flats, 25 km (15 mi) away. The film also refers to contemporary evictions and forced removals to new suburban ghettos in post-apartheid South Africa as well as the resistance of its residents.



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This includes the high profile attempted forced removal of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Cape Town to temporary relocation areas in Delft, plus the attempted evictions of Abahlali baseMjondolo and evictions in the shack settlement, Chiawelo, where the film was actually shot.

Blikkiesdorp, a temporary relocation area in Cape Town, has also been compared with the District 9 camp earning a front page spread in The Daily Voice. The film makes a statement about inhumanity in the irony of Wikus becoming more humane as he becomes less human.



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Throughout the movie, he becomes more aware of the aliens' plight, eventually helping them escape the planet, even turning on his own species to do so. Chris Mikesell from the Hawaii newspaper, Ka Leo, notes that inhumanity is a deep-rooted theme throughout.

He writes: "Substitute 'black,' 'Asian,' 'Mexican,' 'illegal,' 'Jew,' or any number of different labels for the word 'prawn' in this film and you will hear the hidden truth behind the dialogue". Alien eggs are destroyed before hatching and described as popcorn.



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He described that District 9 shows the corruption of which humans are capable. MNU, the corporation in charge of protecting the aliens, is actually taking away captured aliens and using them as experiments in order to be able to use their weapons.

Themes of racism and xenophobia are put forward by the movie in the form of speciesism applied to the aliens. The use of the word "prawn" to describe the aliens is a reference to the Parktown prawn, a king cricket species considered a pest in South Africa.



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Copley has said that the theme is not intended to be the main focus of the work, but rather that it can work at a subconscious level even if it is not noticed. Duane Dudek from the Journal Sentinel wrote that "The result is an action film about xenophobia, in which all races of humans are united in their dislike and mistrust of an insect-like species".

An underlying theme in District 9 is state reliance on multinational corporations as a government funded enforcement arm. As MNU represents the type of corporation which partners with governments, the negative portrayal of MNU in the film can be seen as a statement about the dangers of outsourcing militaries and bureaucracies to private contractors.




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Filming / Behind the Scenes

The film was shot on location in Chiawelo, Soweto during a time of violent unrest in Alexandra, Gauteng and other South African townships involving clashes between native South Africans and Africans born in other countries. The location that portrays District 9 in itself was in fact a real impoverished neighborhood from which people were being forcibly relocated to government-subsidised housing.

Filming for District 9 took place during the winter in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to director Neill Blomkamp, during the winter season, Johannesburg "actually looks like Chernobyl", a "nuclear apocalyptic wasteland". Blomkamp wanted to capture the deserted, bleak atmosphere and environment, so he and the crew had to film during the months of June through July.



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The film took a total of 60 days of shooting. Filming in December raised another issue in that there was much more rain. Due to the rain, there was a lot of greenery to work with, which Blomkamp did not want. In fact, Blomkamp had to cut some of the vegetation in the scenery to portray the setting as desolate and dark.

The film features many weapons and vehicles produced by the South African arms-industry, including the R5 and Vektor CR-21 assault rifles, Denel NTW-20 20mm sniper rifle, BXP submachinegun, Casspir armored personnel carrier, Ratel infantry fighting vehicle, Rooikat tank, Atlas Oryx helicopter and militarized Toyota Hilux.



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Blomkamp said no single film influenced District 9, but cited the 1980s "hardcore sci-fi/action" films such as Alien, Aliens, The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Predator and RoboCop as subconscious influences. The director said, "I don't know whether the film has that feeling or not for the audience, but I wanted it to have that harsh 1980s kind of vibe — I didn't want it to feel glossy and slick."

Because of the amount of hand-held shooting required for the film, the producers and crew decided to shoot using the digital Red One camera. Cinematographer Trent Opaloch used nine digital Red Ones owned by Peter Jackson for primary filming.

According to HD Magazine, District 9 was shot on RED One cameras using build 15, Cooke S4 primes and Angenieux zooms. The documentary style and CCTV cam footage was shot on the Sony EX1/EX3 XDCAM-HD. Additionally, the post-production team was warned that the most RED footage they could handle a day was about an hour and a half. When that got to five hours a day reinforcements were called in and 120 Terabytes of data was filled.




Resources:
wikipedia.org, imdb.com





District 9

District 9

Director  Neill  Blomkamp  teams  with  producer  Peter  Jackson for this tale of
extraterrestrial refugees stuck in contemporary South Africa. It's been 28 years
since the aliens made first  contact, but there was  never any attack from the
skies, nor any  profound technological  revelation capable of  advancing our
society.

Instead, the aliens were treated as refugees. They were  the last of their kind,
and in  order to   accommodate them, the  government  of  South Africa set up a
makeshift  home in  District 9 as  politicians and  world leaders  debated  how to
handle the situation.

As  the  humans  begin   to  grow  wary  of  the  unwelcome  intruders,   a  private
company called Multi-National United (MNU) is assigned the task of controlling
the aliens. But MNU is less interested in the aliens' welfare than attempting to
understand how their weaponry works.

Should they manage to make that breakthrough, they will receive tremendous
profits to  fund their  research.  Unfortunately, the  highly advanced  weaponry
requires alien DNA in order to be activated.  When MNU field operative Wikus
van der Merwe  (Sharlto Copley) is  exposed to  biotechnology  that causes his
DNA to  mutate, the  tensions  between the  aliens and the  humans  intensifies.

Wikus is  the  key to  unlocking the alien's technology, and he quickly becomes the
most wanted  man on the planet. Ostracized and  isolated, Wikus retreats to District 9
in a desperate bid to shake his dogged pursuers.

Variety: "This grossly engrossing speculative fiction bears Jackson's blood-spattered
fingerprints but also heralds first-time feature director Neill Blomkamp as a nimble
talent to watch."

Hollywood Reporter: "It's a helluva movie. No true fan of science fiction or, for
that matter, cinema - can help but thrill to the action, high stakes and
suspense built around a very original chase movie."



Detailed Synopsis & Screenshots




The film opens with a documentary-style series of interviews that introduce the story: twenty years prior, an alien ship arrives above Johannesburg, South Africa.


It hovers above the city for three months without any contact; eventually humans take the initiative and cut into the ship. They discover a large group of aliens who are malnourished and sick. The aliens are later assessed as being "workers", with their leadership mysteriously missing (it is hypothesized that a plague may have wiped out all of the leadership-caste). Grainy footage shows part of the ship (supposedly a command module) falling to Earth, but nobody has been able to find it, leaving the ship still hovering but inoperable.


The creatures are given permission to leave their craft and live on Earth but are housed in a squalorous government camp. The alien race's true name is never learned; they are primarily referred to as "prawns", a derogatory term referring to the bottom-feeding sea creature they resemble or, more rarely, "non-humans".


Overcrowding and militarization eventually turn the area into a slum known as District 9. A massive black market is set up between the aliens and a group of Nigerians primarily led by Mumbo, a paralyzed warlord. In addition to inter-species prostitution, the Nigerians exchange canned cat food for alien weapons, of which the cat food has a similar effect to catnip on the aliens. The present story takes place in 2010. Patience over the alien situation among the human population of Johannesburg has run out, and control over them has been contracted to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company that shows little regard for the aliens' welfare.


MNU's actual agenda is their interest in the aliens' advanced weaponry, but its integration with alien biology makes it useless to humans. An MNU field operative named Wikus van der Merwe, is tasked with moving 1.8 million aliens to a new camp, District 10.


The new camp is located 240 km from Johannesburg, and support is provided by private security forces working for MNU. MNU teams serving warrants for the relocation of the aliens find caches of contraband items, including weapons, in many alien shacks.


Wikus himself oversees several inspections and is assisted by Koobus Venter, a belligerent MNU military operative whose tactics with the aliens are ruthless and cruel. In another shack, not far away, an alien named Christopher distills a mysterious black substance that has taken him 20 years to find the components for and stores it in a small black cylinder.


While serving and eviction notice to Christopher, and searching his shack, Wikus finds the cylinder and inadvertently squirts its contents into his face.


He becomes almost instantly nauseous and collects the device as evidence. Wikus returns to his office and grows increasingly ill throughout the day, the side-effects of the black fluid becoming more prominent. He returns home that evening and collapses at a surprise party in his house.


He is rushed to a hospital where a doctor discovers his left arm has metamorphosed into that of a prawn. Wikus is taken into custody and a series of tests and experiments are performed on him; these reveal that his alien DNA allows him to operate alien weapons with both his human and alien hand.



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