Instructions How to Write

The Contagion Narrative in Movies

Steven Soderbergh (dir.), Contagion, 2011

Preparatory Questions

Before you watch:

Context Clues:

Who is the director? What important information can you find about him?
Where does he live?
What other works is he known for?
What is the genre of the film?


Key terms and events:

This film was influenced by the epidemics of the 2000s—SARS, MERS and H1N1. Looks those up to get a better sense of the backdrop of the film’s production.

As you watch, consider:

How does the pandemic start in the film? What are some of the implications of presenting the outbreak in this way?
What metaphors or explanations are used to represent the pandemic?
What is the role of scientists and health care workers in the film?
What happens to the social order following the outbreak? Why do you think that the director chose to represent it in this way?


* Discussion Board Assignment Questions:

How is contagion presented in the film? Through what metaphors? How so or why do you think that is?
How is patient zero presented? What happens to her? Why do you think that is?
What similarities do you find between the pandemic in the film and COVID-19? What might we learn from the film about our current condition?

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