‘District 9’ in PMB

2009-08-28 00:00

OPENING in Pietermaritzburg this weekend is the sci-fi action thriller, District 9, directed and co-written by South Africa’s Neill Blomkamp.

The film, showing at both CineCentre and SterKinekor Scottsville, has been a massive success overseas taking $37 million dollars (about R290 million) in its first week — not bad when you consider it cost $30 million to make.

District 9, which was produced by Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson, tells the story of extraterrestrials who have been forced to live on Earth in a Johannesburg slum since their ship stalled over the city 20 years before.

When bureaucrat Wikus van der Merwe (played by South African actor Sharlto Copley) is assigned to evict and move the aliens to another government refugee camp, he is exposed to an alien substance that alters his DNA, forcing him to work with the ­aliens to help them escape the planet and save his own humanity.

An adaptation of Blomkamp’s 2005 short film Alive in Joburg, District 9 uses a mock documentary style, interviews, news footage, and video from surveillance cameras to tell the story, which was reportedly inspired by the apartheid government’s decision to forcibly remove and relocate 60 000 people from District Six in Cape Town in 1966.

The film has been positively ­received by sci-fi fans and critics alike, with Sara Vilkomerson of the New York Observer describing it as “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”.



CineCentre: GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra; Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Fired Up; G-Force; Fighting; The Proposal; The Hangover; My Sister’s Keeper.

SterKinekor: GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra; Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Management; Obsessed; Drag Me To Hell; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past .


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