I chanced upon a recent article proclaiming the Neill Blomkamp directed District 9 (D9) as the new Slumdog Millionaire.and while that allegory may indeed be relevant given that D9 tells the story of aliens that land in South Africa and are relegated to living on the slums as a result of the local distrust of them. D9 may also be compared to Slumdog as it has well become the sleeper hit of the year. But the frEEk finds similarities in its core between D9 and a film about perhaps the most famous Indian ever: Gandhi.
D9 tells the tale of Aliens having landed in Johannesburg, being confiscated of their technology and weaponry and shoved into slum -like camps a metaphor for the apartheid camps which existed during the time a young Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi visted South Africa to pursue his studies.
D9 is also the story of Wikus van der Merwe (played brilliantly by Sharlto Copley) an employee of Multinational United (MNU), a private military contractor, who is placed in charge of evacuating the prawn-like aliens to a concentration camp, away from human dwellings in Johannesburg. In a bizarre set of events, Wikus becomes "infected" with alien DNA which slowly mutates him into an alienesque creature, driving him into sense empathy for the reviled aliens, a similar to where Gandhi's conscience was rudely awakened upon being thrown out of a train, in where else but Johannesburg!
Wikus' altered DNA now allows him to operate Alien weaponry - which has been consficated from the aliens upon their landing on earth, and which ability makes him a sought after "creature"by the government and the aliens alike. The clip shows how local warlords try to cut off Wikus' arm in the hope that consumption of his mutated arm will give them similar "powers"
This leads to Wikus becoming an involuntary messiah, once again akin to Gandhi's heralding of the SATYAGRAHA movement which led to the British evacuation of India. While Wikus' attempts are more non-satyagraheque, it steamrolls the aliens attempt to break free from the confines of their slave camp, and return to their home planet.
So there you have it frEEks, not only is D9 a tale of sci-fi told exceedingly well, but also a tale of humanity and how the most unseeming person, can create a revolution.
extra frEEky: watch D9, today!!