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Contagion Poster
© Warner Bros Pictures

We have a company movie outing today. Sure enough, us from "Kontagent" went out to see the movie "Contagion". This maybe the first movie I watch in a cinema for over a year. It really affected me emotionally. In the past years I've followed closely on the development of the SARS and H1N1 epidemic. Contagion feels like a very realistic story.

Businesswoman Beth contacted a bug from a business trip to Macau. The ailment that she dismiss as jetlag quickly progress to become fatal. A new virus has traveled with her on an airplane and spread around the world. It spirals out of control and killing scores of people all over the world. The medical community are helpless trying to stop it.

What makes it so emotional? For one thing, I just can't bear to see people die. The Emhoffs have two death in their family. The remaining father and daughter live under a dark cloud and the threat of more inflection. This is, above all, a very human story. You can see that from Dr. Cheever of CDC. When he finally received his personal vaccine ration from the first batch manufactured, he shows much caring by giving them to the people he cares for.

The movie develops in multiple story line all with strong characters.

Kate Winslet's Dr. Erin Mears answers her call of duty, going out to the field and putting herself in the front line of danger. She was an inspiring figure in the time of crisis.

I love the face of researcher Dr. Ally Hextall. She has a radiant expression that bring some rare optimism to the grim movie.

Jude Law plays blogger Alan. It depicts the dark side of social media, where the Internet amplifies skepticism and conspiracy view, causing much more confusion in the time of chaos.

Elliott Gould's Dr. Ian Sussman makes an important breakthrough in his University lab. It exemplify the global cooperation in combating diseases.

And I also like the ending. Soderbergh shows his cinematic skill to bring us some closure at the end.

Contagion recalls another great Soderbergh movie "Traffic". The story contains multiple plot lines revolving around the drug problem. It gives a realistic depiction and you come to see how drug affects everyone. The complexity of the problem defy rhetorics or any easy solution.

People should know new and unknown virus do indeed emerge regularly. We are always a risk of another global pandemic. In the 10 years after the movie Traffic, we are no closer in solving the drug problem than the start. In fact we see Mexico government losing control of the country to drug lords. And Afghanistan has emerged as a top opium producer. What will happen in 10 years after the movie Contagion? It is chilling to think that there is a real possibility that an epidemic as horrific as in the film could happen in real life.

2011.09.23 [] - comments



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