From the director of District 9, Neill Blomkamp, here is the original 2005 short film that inspired it all – Alive in Joburg. This short film is combines the fictional the story of an alien settlement with actual interviews of residents of Johannesburg airing their grievances about about black Nigerians and Zimbabweans in their city. When presented together this allegory of fear and inter-cultural conflict cuts very close to our reality.
Despite the absence of special effects from Weta workshop, the visceral feel of the feature movie is still present in Alive in Joburg, and I am grateful that the new movie has likewise kept the absence of Hollywood stars. Some have criticised this movie for ripping off other Hollywood movies like Alien Nation, but I feel that the singular vision of the director has allowed this movie to trancend spectacle and made it a very human story – with cool explosions.