The film is partially presented in a found footage format by featuring fictional interviews, news footage, and video from surveillance cameras. The story, which explores themes of humanity, xenophobia, and social segregation, begins in an alternate 1982, when an alien spaceship appears over Johannesburg, South Africa. When a population of sick and malnourished insect-like aliens is found aboard the ship, the South African government confines them to an internment camp called District 9. Years later, during the government's relocation of the aliens to another camp, one of the confined aliens named Christopher Johnson tries to escape with his son and return home, crossing paths with a bureaucrat named Wikus van der Merwe. The title and premise of District 9 were inspired by events in Cape Town's District Six, during the apartheid era.
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