Can Sc-Fi Movie Change the Fortunes of Soweto Slum?

The box office hit "District 9" was shot in a real Soweto slum, and now the residents are hoping that the popularity of the film will lead to real improvements to the settlement.
August 25, 2009, 5am PDT | Michael Dudley
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The Soweto slum in the science fiction film "District 9" is depicted as so awful a place that only aliens can survive it. But it's a real community called Chiawelo, and the residents are hoping that as many people as possible will see how poor their living conditions are, so that the government will be embarrassed into taking action.

"Millions of people all over South Africa are living in similar conditions, in tiny overcrowded shacks without electricity or water or sanitation. After years of frustration and delays, many communities have exploded in violent demonstrations...Instead of protesting in the streets, the people of Chiawelo are placing their hopes in the alien movie, which was filmed outside their shacks last year."

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Published on Monday, August 24, 2009 in The Globe and Mail
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