Neill Blomkamp


(Copyright © 2009 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Neill Blomkamp

District 9 (2009) tells the often-repeated parable of the average ordinary faceless man who finds himself plunged into an extraordinary situation and has to rise up and transform himself into an action hero. The story is mostly told via interviews with commentators and eye witnesses (we don't see the interviewer nor hear the questions). There are references to the nazi concentration camps and to the more recent history of apartheid in South Africa. Most of the plot is either childish or implausible (why can't the aliens use the superior weapons to conquer the humans?)

Wikus is a smiling officer of a multinational owned by his father-in-law. A malfunctioning alien ship has been hovering over Johannesburg for twenty years. The aliens, who now number 1.8 million, resettled in a slum of the city, "District 9", and live like beasts but protected by human rights. The locals are fed up with the unwanted immigrants and the government has decided to resettled them to a new district. In order to pretend that this is done according to the law, Wikus has been put in charge of obtaining a signed agreement from every alien. This is a dangerous job that requires wearing a bullet-proof vest and traveling in military convoys. Exploiting the aliens is a gang of Nigerians. They trade catfood (the aliens' favorite food) for weapons. One day the aliens sell them a monster suit that can turn a human being into a war machine. While the interviews continue to add details to the story, we sense that something went awfully wrong.
Among the aliens is Christopher, a scietist who lives with his little son. His house is a laboratory. He and his friends scavenge for a fluid that originally came with the aliens. Wikus stumbles on the place where the fluid is kept and seizes it. Exposed to it, Wikus immediately becomes sick, although initially does not pay attention to it. Later he searches Christopher's house and realizes that it is full of computers.
Wikus gets home dizzy after losing black fluid from the nose and pulling a nail out of its finger. His loving wife Tania has organized a surprise party to celebrate his new job. Her father threatens to fire Wikus if he does not perform adequately, and Wikus is clearly eager to keep the job and prove that he can do it. During the party Wikus gets sicker and eventually collapses. He is taken to a hospital where the staff realize that his hand is turning into an alien tentacle. The scientists of the multinational tell the management that Wikus is a unique case of someone who is transitioning from human to alien, and that the multinational could make a lot of money out of him. He is taken to a secret laboratory where the multinational performs illegal experiments on aliens. They do not hesitate to kill. They test Wikus' ability to shoot alien weapons and use a living alien for target practice forcing Wikus to kill him in cold blood. Wikus' father-in-law authorizes the use of Wikus' body for their experiments and then walks home to tell Tania that Wikus is very sick.
Terrified that they want to vivisect him, Wikus manages to escape. The multinational broadcast the news that he is a dangerous criminal who had sex with aliens and is highly contagious. Wikus becomes a wanted man. The only place where he can hide is District 9. He happens to return to Christopher's house. Christopher realizes that Wikus got the fluid, while Wikus realizes that Christopher's house is a rocket. Christopher admits that he has been working for 20 years to repair the spaceship. Now he just needs to fluid that will propel the spaceship back home. Christopher tells Wikus that the spaceship has medical machines that can heal his hand. Wikus accepts to help Christopher recover the fluid. They manage to enter the compound of the corporation and steal the fluid, but Christopher sees the alien body parts of the secret laboratory and now is more interested in freeing his people than helping Wikus heal. Wikus hits him and starts the engine, determined to get to the spaceship. Christopher's son is aboard. Meanwhile the guards break into Christopher's shack and arrest the alien. Wikus takes off in the makeshift rocket. The guards stop it with a missile. The rocket crashes and Wikus is arrested. Christopher's child remains on the rocket and tries to repair it.
The military convoy carrying the two prisoners is attacked by the Nigerians. Wikus is taken to the boss of the Nigerians, who believes that he can attain superhuman powers if he eats Wikus' tentacle. The Nigerians are about to cut his arm when the guards of the multinational attack the compound. Meanwhile Christopher's son has repaired the rocket. The spaceship starts moving over the city, for the first time in 20 years. Wikus jumps into the monster suit that the aliens sold to the Nigerians and is transformed into a killing machine. Once free, however, he lets the guards arrest and torture Christopher and runs away. But then finds the guts to attack and frees Christopher. Wikus protects Christopher who boards the rocket and takes off. The guards finally destroy the alien suit and Wikus falls off what is left of it. The most vicious of the guards is about to kill him when he is attacked by aliens. The experts debate what Christopher will do: return and free the aliens? Wikus has disappeared. District 10 replaces District 9. We see an old footage of Wikus the loving husband and then we see an alien scavenging and crafting a flower out of garbage... The transformation is complete.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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