District 9 is (fairly loosely) based on Neill Blomkamp's short film Alive in Joburg. Alive in Joburg is about a species of aliens, referred to as the non-humans in District 9 but Poleepkwa in Alive in Joburg, who land in Johannesburg, South Africa. This remains the same in District 9. The non-humans are forced to work as slave labour for Multi-National United. MNU is quite racial towards the non-humans, for they give them very little necessities and speak harshly to them. In the film one non-human will try to free himself from MNU, this is where the MNU Security Force will step in.

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