Archive for September, 2012


September 8th, 2012

A, here.

Calling all germophobes, you must watch this movie…because what you really need is to be even MORE paranoid!! Contagion is an intense movie that moves as fast as the deadly bacterial outbreak on which it focuses. Its message is disturbing, showing how both national and global disease control centers scurry to respond to a threat of this magnitude, all the while, still being about a hundred steps behind the fast-moving outbreak.

Watching this movie made me recall a documentary that M & I watched for one of his history courses — about a deadly flu outbreak in 1918. We were shocked at the worldwide devastation, even down to the area we live in now. But in Contagion, writer Scott Burns and director Steven Soderbergh show us how deadly an outbreak can be in our modern world. Imagine how long it took for a contagion to spread between countries back in 1918…and then imagine how quickly it can spread now, with thousands of international flights per day. No amount of Purell is gonna protect us from that!

This movie also shows how many disease control organizations, both national and worldwide, frantically struggle individually and collaboratively to locate and contain an outbreak of such magnitude, often putting their own lives in danger. And from the opposite perspective, it shows how families just like us respond to a worldwide emergency, doing their best to protect themselves while the world in general is in a panic. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of Jude Law’s character to the disease control centers — it shows how much the media can impact whether we remain calm or panic, and how easily the media can sway public opinion based on what one man thinks he knows, versus what hundreds of disease control experts are trying like hell to confirm as truth. It reminded me of watching wonderful anxiety-inducing zombie movies like 28 Days Later, but with a much more realistic fear that this can actually happen!

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