Contagion! You would not believe that this movie was released in 2011 and accurately foretold the spread of coronavirus. I do not want to spoil the plot for you. However, I have already told you the plot, in that I let you know this movie is describing almost the same situation as we have been currently suffering.
According to foreign media outlets, Matt Damon, a lead actor in this film, underwent quarantine from coronavirus last year. His eldest daughter also was confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 and fortunately recovered. In the movie, Matt Damon plays a father, whose family is seized by the epidemic.
The movie Contagion gained popularity after coronavirus spread. This film was a box office failure in 2006, despite its star-studded cast. This movie does not follow the pattern of commercial movies which focuses on a certain character as a hero.
The writer of the movie reportedly asked a WHO expert for advice on pandemics and investigated the actions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against swine flu. Thus, this movie was very well received by scientists. “Almost all scientific movies sacrifice scientific facts for their dramatic interest, but Contagion is an exception,” a vaccine expert said.
This is why the movie failed. Dramatic factors were sacrified for scientific facts. The director decided to make a pandemic movie of the SARS crisis in 2003 and the swine flu outbreak in 2009. Before such movies were released, we hadn’t thought much about pandemics even when we were entering into the current critical situation. We haven’t focused on a pandemic, even though such movies warned people of its seriousness.
We still do not know the real ending of COVID-19. That is the difference between reality and the movie. We can have a chance to think about pandemic disaster through this film. We can also ask these questions to the human society: “Is capitalism the best system for us?”, “How can we allocate our resources?”, “Is fair competition really ‘fair’?”, “Which should we choose; selfishness or coexistence to survive from pandemic?” This unprecedented “new normal” era caused by COVID-19 strongly encourages us to think about sustainable growth, coexistence, and materialism for the world and all the human beings on a deeper and more fundamental level.
[Weeklymonday No.60 Monday, May 31, 2021]