In District 9, we are introduced right away to the main character Wikus through a documentary style piece that reports on happenings in the past. Combining footage shot at the time of the events of the film with news reports surrounding the general storyline and interviews with those who were involved in the situation, we are given a view on the story which quite clearly contains a heavy bias towards the company Wikus is working for.
This documentary style continues into the film until we reach parts that we can only see through Wikus’ eyes: after the arrival of an alien craft over South Africa, the aliens come to live in a shanty town area known as District 9, not being allowed to leave the district which is surrounded by high fences and patrolled by security forces. When Wikus brings in a team to lead the evacuation of the aliens to a new residential area, he is very much against them: but when a spray of a mysterious substance causes him to experience some very strange side effects, he is soon involved in a race against time to help one particular alien escape the district and get back to their mother ship.
The shooting style here is very convincing, and does a good job of carrying on the camera view idea that originated for this production team in Cloverfield. Sharlto Copley puts in a great performance, and is virtually unrecognisable from his role in The A-Team – at first becoming a rather unlike-able figure, he slowly transforms into someone that we can root for and really hope for a happy ending. The ending of District 9, as it turns out, leaves quite a few questions unanswered, but that is appropriate for the documentary style; if the government do not know how the ending played or will play out, then neither should we.