District 9 director Neill Blomkamp has been busy ever since Alien 5 got canned. His latest venture is called Oats Studios – a place “fueled by pure creativity and passion” where Blomkamp can work on experimental sci-fi projects and mainline them to his obsessive fanbase. Film’s number one futurist has been hard at work, too.
Blomkamp recently unleashed his first short film, Rakka, which takes place in a not-too-distant future (the year 2020). Humans are enslaved by aliens and are being used for experiments. The short stars Sigourney Weaver and some have speculated it’s based on Raqqa, the city in Syria where turmoil continues to unfold in the war against ISIS.
“The filmmaker cannot be making a film without a reason,” Blomkamp told me back in 2015 of his films being seen as allegorical for current events. “The reason can be like Aliens with James Cameron, which was a play on Vietnam; we’re more heavily armed, we’re more technologically sophisticated, why are we losing? It doesn’t appear that way, it appears when you watch it that a Xenomorph is gonna eat you. There’s always a reason.”
A statement about the film says that “RAKKA is the story of broken humanity following the invasion of a technologically superior alien species. Bleak, harrowing and unrelenting, the humans we meet must find enough courage to go on fighting.”
The most interesting part of this whole endeavour is Blomkamp’s decision to release the film on Steam, along with selling access to the scripts and 3D models. It seems as though the director is encouraging fans to take the material into their own hands in order to craft their own narratives using his starter pack.
Blomkamp has tweeted about a user-generated idea before for a film, but it may just have been a joke.
Either way, all 22 minutes of Rakka are compelling. Fans are already praising it as better than any of his films following District 9. Watch Rakka below:
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