How the 2011 movie Contagion predicted the pandemic of the new COVID-19 coronavirus

With the advance of the new coronavirus around the world, many people have been looking for the movie Contagion (2011). See what the film’s creators say

Released in 2011, the film Contagion (or “Contagion”, in English) is gaining prominence again. With the new coronavirus pandemic, the film impresses for bringing such real details about the current situation. Therefore, the creators of Contagion spoke with the press to tell how they predicted the emergence of COVID-19 in the world.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the production has in the cast Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne and Marion Cotillard. In the story, a fictitious virus (MEV-1) appears from a bat, passes to a pig, and eventually reaches humans. Contagion shows a woman who traveled and contracted the virus in Hong Kong. Back in her country, she dies and her husband is forced to be quarantined.

Still, it doesn’t take long for the virus to spread and kill thousands of people in a short amount of time. As noted in the COVID-19 situation, people in the film start to panic and scientists race against time in search of a cure.

The film allows the viewer to track the virus. Actorities of the WHO – World Health Organization and of the CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (of the United States) act to stop the advance of the MEV-1 around the world. However, the situation becomes even more delicate, causing chaos and more than 20 million deaths.

Contagion it also highlights how many diseases of recent years arose from animals: the same happened with the HIV, Ebola, Sars and now with the COVID-19.

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Contagion is back on top

With the coronavirus pandemic, the film was once again sought after on the internet. It is among the most popular on streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime and also appears in the Top 10 of the iTunes, gives Apple. In addition, it continues to be sought after by many Brazilians in the Google. The coronavirus effect made the movie become the second most watched in the Warner Bros. It was ranked 270th last December, when the new coronavirus was still unknown. Now he only loses to the classic Harry Potter.

Other features like Epidemic (1995) and 12 monkeys (1995) are also currently successful because of the new coronavirus, but Contagion it has aroused even more the curiosity of people, who want to understand the moment in which we live.

contagion scene

“Tensed, strictly planned and reinforced by a stellar cast, Contagion is an exceptionally intelligent – ​​and scary – disaster film”

says the review on Rotten Tomatoes

On Rotten Tomatoes, Contagion it already has an 85% rating. “Taking a clean, chronological and forceful approach, Soderbergh keeps a steady eye on panic and chaos. It’s a disaster movie with brain and conscience”, says one of the critics. “The best pandemic movie to date”, evaluated another.

what the creators say

Scene of two people with mask in contagion film

Scott Z. Burns, the film’s screenwriter, said he spent months studying pandemics. For the film, he hired renowned epidemiologists to develop a real plot, training actors who would act as health authorities, doctors and scientists. “When I started talking to experts, everyone said, ‘It’s not a question of another pandemic, it’s a question of when’” remembered burns.

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Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University (United States), helped Scott Z. Burns in the construction of the film, as he has vast experience in the area. Over the course of his career, he has managed to identify hundreds of new diseases.

For Contagion, Ian told all his experience with the Sars, in 2003, in Beijing, for the director. The actors also went to his lab and analyzed how to bring an even more realistic setting to the film. Ian Lipkin also helped burns in post-production.

“It wouldn’t be pure entertainment – ​​in fact, there are some public health messages. The idea was to make people aware of the fact that emerging diseases will keep coming and re-emerging”

Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University (USA), who was the film’s scientific advisor.

The 2011 film contagion featured health experts during its production

Contagion was inspired by the father of burns. He was very concerned about the possibility of avian flu becoming a pandemic. burns, however, did not want to make an “ordinary” movie about disasters related to these viruses. So he went to the epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant, responsible for the successful eradication of smallpox.

Dr. Brilliant still remember how we don’t know how to deal with situations like the current one. When the swine flu epidemic broke out, the public reacted strangely. Furthermore, many people were intrigued by the alarmism of the health authorities.

“We all started talking about the fact that modernity doesn’t know what a real pandemic was like”

said epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant.

how to watch

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s available on some platforms. At Amazon Prime, it can be rented (in US dollars only) for four or ten US dollars. At the YouTube and in the Google Play (films), the production can be purchased for R$19.90 or rented for R$7.90.

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At Apple TV, the values ​​and purchase and rent follow the same as in YouTube (R$19.90 and R$7.90, respectively). in the app HBO GO, Contagion is available free of charge to all subscribers. Rent can also be made by look, for R$7.99.

And you, reader, have you ever watched Contagion? So comment here below.

Source: South China Morning Post; News18; Rotten Tomatoes.

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