On Watching Contagion: What Do We Learn?

David Lewis is professor of social policy and development at the Department of Social Policy, LSE.By David LewisLONDON, Apr 17 2020 (IPS) Contagion is a 2011 film by US director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Che) that has proved very popular viewing during the first few weeks of the Coronavirus crisis. Set in a fictional global pandemic – modelled on the outbreak of a bat-borne Nipah virus identified in 1999 that killed around 100 people in Malaysia – the film is a tightly-written topical drama with a great castthat includes Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Ehle. David LewisIn the film, the Paltrow character returns to the US from a business trip from Hong Kong, and begins the spread of a deadly infection. The authorities are slow to understand the implications of the virus. As it spreads across the world scientists try to find a vaccine and societies struggle to contain the social and economic consequences. When it was originally released, Contagion drew praise for the unusual efforts made by its writers and director to ‘get the science right’. More recently, with the filmmade available on Netflix and shown on ITV, it has attracted further attention for its uncanny parallels with the current crisis. We argued in our book Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films,Television and Social Media, co-edited with Dennis Rodgers and Michael Woolcock...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Aid Global Globalisation Headlines Health Humanitarian Emergencies TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news

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