dir. by Steven Soderbergh; written by Scott Z. Burns

"Contagion" is a realistic, unsensational film about a global epidemic. It's being marketed as a thriller, a frightening speculation about how a new airborne virus could enter the human species and spread relentlessly in very little time.

The virus in "Contagion" is a baffling one, defying isolation, rejecting cure. This film is skillful at telling the story through the lives of several key characters and the casual interactions of many others. It makes it clear that people do not "give" one another a virus; a virus is a life form evolved to seek out new hosts—as it must to survive, because its carriers die, and it must always stay one jump ahead of death. Contagion is chilling because it is credible. It doesn't mince its messages about social and new media's power and reach when they go up against establishment, especially when establishment here is seen to be slow, bureaucratic. It's also very pointed politically about things like morals and the pharmaceutical companies, and how certain countries utilize different unorthodox techniques to force an outcome, all these while under the same breath demonstrating through the different story arcs the workings of respective CDCs, how health experts go about their job scopes in the WHO, providing a macro as well as a micro look at the issues at hand to save mankind from eradication. Its shades of real world sensibilities is what makes this something highly recommended, and especially relevant in our world today.

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