Don’t miss the film, Contagion. It is a realistic look at how a virus can spread within a short time and kill millions of people if not controlled. Although it is tragic, it is ultimately a postitive message, as the World Health Organization and the CDC work madly, at personal cost, to come up with an antidote.
With Matt Damon, in a non-glamour role.
Here is a piece of mail from a person who actually works at the CDC.
pat and i just saw the movie “contagion” — it’s REALLY worth seeing. the new yorker was not exaggerating when it called the movie brilliant (see review link below). this movie is an incredible antidote to the tea party, michelle bachman, rick perry, sara palin, and the right wing all around — but cleverly done, without being overtly political. the message is really powerful. and it might have a prayer of a chance of reaching suburban and rural america without being called socialist (maybe). the portrayal of scientists and the CDC and the WHO is outstanding. this isn’t a horror movie; it’s about reality and what government, if funded and empowered, can do to stop real disasters. let’s hope people can find more ways to reach the public with this message in the coming year.
anyway, i highly recommend you all see it. it really raises my spirits to see someone portray so perfectly why government and science matters, and why the move towards dismantling science and public health and infrastructure and education is so dangerous — all in the guise of hollywood entertainment.
and the science is great too. i especially liked the last scene in which they show how destruction of the environment led to contact between species that DON’T normally interact, which ultimately led, in just a few steps to a pandemic.
here are some excerpts of what the new yorker review said — they are right on target:
“Contagion” confronts reality head on; it’s a brief against magical thinking. Soderbergh and his screenwriter, Scott Z. Burns, may not have intended it, but their movie could become an event in an ongoing political debate over the nature of American life….
Contagion” is, of course, a 9/11-anniversary movie, though probably not one that the public was expecting. Soderbergh appears to be saying, “I’ll show you something far worse than a terrorist attack, and no fundamentalist fanatic planned it.” The film suggests that, at any moment, our advanced civilization could be close to a breakdown exacerbated by precisely what is most advanced in it. And the movie shows us something else: heroic work by scientists and Homeland Security officials. We can’t help noticing that with two exceptions—a French doctor who works for the World Health Organization (Marion Cotillard) and a renegade epidemiologist in San Francisco (Elliott Gould)—the heroes are all employees of the federal government, and instinctively factual people. No one prays, no one calls on God. “Contagion” lacks any spiritual dimension—except for its passionate belief in science and rational administration. The movie says: When there’s real trouble, we’re in the hands of the reality-based community. No one else matters.”