What I found interesting about this movie is it’s structure. It unfolds in a documentary style with a lot of ‘shaky’ footage kind of visuals. Considering that it’s a sci fi action movie, the treatment is interesting.
The theme also puts everything on it’s head. Aliens are here already. They had come in a space ship which now hovers over the city. They were in a very poor condition when they reached here. Malnourished, sick. Currently they live in a secluded colony in Johannesburg in extremely poor conditions. ‘Ethnic conflicts’ frequently arise between humans and aliens, forcing the government to evict the aliens (known as ‘prawns’) to a separate area. This is the general back ground of the story.
Here the highlight is not on the sci-fi/spectacular aspect of it but rather on the human nature- our capability to be greedy, selfish and ruthless.
The great thing about district 9 is that story telling has not been sacrificed for some directorial gimmicks. We care about the protagonist who in this case is a journalist reporting the events in the conflict zone. The story is about his transformation- both psychological and physical.
What I learned from this movie is that experimenting with the narrative need not actually jarr your enjoyment of the movie. It’s still possible to test the limits of the craft without testing the limits of the patience of your audience.