There are times when very unlikely miracles come from the most unexpected places. In a place like South Africa, a folk singer who spent an infamous time in the United States can suddenly become extremely popular – which he made for a wonderful documentary. Or you can go out one of the most shocking science fiction movies of this century.
One that launched a director we’re still trying to understand. One that it raised the alien invasions from another perspective. One that looks like it will have a sequel soon. And you have just over 48 hours to watch it on Netflix. This is ‘District 9’, by Neill Blomkamp.
From aliens to refugees
Because of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ we expected that contact with aliens was a transcendental experience that would give us a brutal change or a revolutionary technology. Or else a massive attack. Not the case in ‘District 9’. The spaceship arrives, in Johannesburg no less, and the aliens come down, leaving them practically stranded.
The South African government is forced to do something with the aliens that have been trapped in the country – not so much on the planet. So their solution is to keep them in a refugee camp and the authorities come every now and then to take a look. In these, a sad official (Sharlto Copley) goes to do an inspection while some cameras record him and comes into contact with a strange device that will cause a significant change.
Leaving aside the incredible visual finish, especially in digital effects, of a South African film -in which Peter Jackson produces and Sony also enters, okay-, Blomkamp’s film opts for an interesting modesty for his science fiction. The almost amateurish touch that the false documentary gives helps, but it manages to be in a nice zone between an ambitious proposal and a small film that its audience wants to find.
‘District 9’: an unprecedented success
The impressive thing is that it achieves all these things. It is a remarkable show, but it also wins over the care it puts into the development of the story. She doesn’t hold back when it comes to introducing crap, but she also gets you to take her seriously. And it is a story that wants to denounce a terrible political situation and gets it to spread throughout the world -Another thing is that the message has remained in the world-.
So miraculous is this unprecedented success that it was almost obvious that Blomkamp was not going to be able to match it – although, sadly, we did not expect the later to be so far below this. That has partly questioned whether what he achieves was really that impressive, but it has also kept her in amber as a gem of the genre. That’s why better take advantage while it’s available.