by Xavier Toby in New Film on Thursday 4 February 2010

The best films are built on brilliant ideas, and the script behind this science fiction thriller was so good, it was able to succeed despite a lack of star power or a big budget. A movie like this reaffirms my little remaining faith in the industry, but it’s a phenomenon that’s all too rare. District 9 begins with the arrival of a ship full of starving aliens, who are stored in a military-guarded slum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The title and theme were inspired by events that took place in District Six, Cape Town during the apartheid era, but are comparable to any of the thousands of refugee camps around the world. Political posturing aside, it’s also a gripping story with constant twists as the bureaucrat assigned to relocate the aliens, derogatorily referred to as ‘prawns’, to a camp outside the city becomes infected by alien DNA.