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Peter Jackson, the Academy Award-winning producer and director of the Lord of The Rings Trilogy and King Kong took on a new and exciting movie project in 2007 that's a documentary-style movie about an alien encampment in South Africa. Called "District 9" it's set for release August 14th and features perhaps the most realistic take on the age-old story of aliens visiting Earth I've ever seen thus far.
In District 9, a giant alien ship hovers over Johannesberg, South Africa. In total the ship and its crew have been there for 28 years. Over that time, a generation, they're forced into slum-like conditions in an area called "District 9". Reportedly a government agent become a friend to the aliens and becomes a human host for their biotechnology.
The Alien Encampment and the Ship in District 9
That's as much as I'll give away but what's interesting are the questions raised by the film: why do we feel the need to imprison those who are different from us? If we were visited by alien life forms in a public way, in other words, a large ship so large you can't miss it, how would we react? What does it mean to be ready for "alien visitors"? Will such a development cause those who are racist to be challenged in their thinking about other humans, or will the visit only make what some claim to be a mental illness even more of a problem?
Given improvements in our communications technology, allowing us to "hear" into space better, and current and upcoming search programs for extraterrestrial life, we may be closer to a point of actually dealing with those questions that we realize. In the interim, we have District 9 to serve as a kind of "situation simulator."