Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

District 9 (2009)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

District 9 (2009)

In director Neill Blomkamp's gritty science-fiction film - it was part-apartheid allegory, mock documentary and tense action thriller:

  • the intriguing and harrowing film began with the arrival of a large space ship that hovered above Johannesburg, South Africa, and was found to contain sickly prawn-like alien creatures (bi-pedal and taller than humans, with facial tendrils)
  • the extra-terrestrials were segregated in District 9 within the city, a heavily-guarded and militarized slum-internment camp that had existed for 20 years, after which plans by the MNU (Multi-National United) were underway to move the 1.8 million oppressed aliens to a new camp (District 10) over 200 kilometers away, with enforcement provided during the eviction by sadistic mercenary Colonel Koobus Venter (David James)
  • the operation to peaceably evict the prawns was headed up by bumbling, incompetent, bureaucratic field operative Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley), who accidentally sprayed himself with black liquid from a canister (a fuel cell) found in the shack of intelligent alien Christopher Johnson (Jason Cope). Wikus had infected himself with a virus, and began a harrowing experience of slowly mutating into one of the aliens (his left hand developed a claw)
  • when Wikus was apprehended by the MNU and they learned he could operate powerful, non-human weaponry, they were determined to perform experimental surgery upon him and "harvest" everything from his partially-mutated body, and in the process kill him: "This body represents hundreds of millions, maybe billions of dollars worth of biotechnology. There are people out there, governments, corporations, who would kill for this chance." [Note: Wikus also discovered that they had been performing illegal, secret operations on aliens for years, used the aliens as targets, and wanted to commandeer the other-worldly weaponry-technology for profit.]
  • he resisted and became a beleaguered fugitive from the nefarious MNU, after they published a falsified news report claiming that Wikus had raped one of the aliens and contracted a disease
  • Wilkus sought refuge in the shack of Christopher Johnson and his young son, and found himself losing his hair, nails, and teeth, and that he liked prawn 'cat food.' Wikus found out that the mysterious liquid in the canister had been gathered over 20 years, and could power a submerged command module shuttle to return to the mother ship hovering dormant over the city, and allow it to be reactivated
  • in the film's exciting conclusion, Wikus and Christopher retrieved the canister from MNU, fought off a Nigerian warlord and his gang of armed men within District 9 who wanted Wikus' powers (through animalistic cannibalism!), and evaded MNU forces led by Colonel Koobus
  • although seriously wounded, Wikus remained behind (encased in a massive mechanical metal battle suit) to sacrificially allow Christopher (and his son) to escape in the downed command module and return to the reactivated mother ship (and then leave Earth)
  • the prawns came to Wikus' rescue and viciously tore off the head of Koobus and ripped him apart as he was about to kill Wikus
  • however, the twist was that it would take 3 years for Christopher to journey to his home planet and then return to reverse Wikus' genetic transformation and cure him. As the mother ship departed, questions were pondered:
    • Would Christopher Johnson return?
    • Was he simply escaping, or would he effect a rescue plan for the alien refugees in their new camp, and/or wage war against humanity?
  • in the film's epilogue, more interviews with various people revealed that Wikus had disappeared - had he been recaptured by MNU or by another government, or by "some shady government agency and is actually being held in captivity"?

Wikus' Wife Tania (Vanessa Haywood)

Alien in District 10 - Was Wikus Still Alive?
  • Wikus' co-worker had exposed MNU's "illegal genetic research programme," and District 9 was demolished after the alien resettlement operation was completed; Wikus' wife Tania (Vanessa Haywood) discovered a small metal flower on her front door step (similar to ones Wikus used to make). She wondered if her husband was still alive:
    • "My friends say I should just throw it away because it's just a piece of rubbish. And it couldn't possibly come from him. I know it's true."
  • on a trash heap in District 10 (now with 2.5 million aliens), an alien with a bandaged left hand was seen holding up a flower out of metal - was Wikus still alive?!

Large Spaceship Above Johannesburg

Alien Creature Christopher Johnson

Wikus (Sharlto Copley)

Wikus' Massive Battle Suit

Prawns to Rescue

Wikus - Seriously Wounded and Remaining Behind


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z