COVID-19: Reel-life apocalypses feel so real now

COVID-19 films cinema
Based partly on science and partly on fiction, certain films remain just films until an imagined scenario becomes real. | Illustration - Prathap Ravishankar

Cinema often reflects society but some filmmakers have gone the other way and projected an imagined future. Based partly on science and partly on fiction, these films remain just films until an imagined scenario becomes real.

The COVID-19 pandemic has lifted Steven Soderbergh’s gloomy Contagion, a film on pandemic, to a new peak as everyone now looks back at the 2011 film for clues on what to expect.

The film, with an ensemble star cast comprising Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and others, talks about a novel virus outbreak whose apparent source has been shown to be a bat and a pig.

Starting from a US businesswoman who had travelled to Macau, Hong Kong, the virus, called MEV-1, which causes flu-like symptoms and seizure before claiming the life, spreads quickly across the US and the rest of the world, killing millions of people before doctors and researchers find a cure.

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