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Panic cinema: the epidemic film contagion and homeopathy as an enemy
Disaster cinema with a top-class star ensemble: Steven Soderberghs (director and camera) Epidemic film Contagion impresses with a top-class cast. Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet are just a few Hollywood greats that help tell the story of the undoubtedly sneaky virus MEV1: After a woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) after a trip to China on one mysterious virus dies and similar cases occur across the planet, it quickly becomes clear that an epidemic is spreading. The number of deaths is growing rapidly. However, the virus mutates faster than scientists can decode its DNA to develop a vaccine. And it is spreading rapidly in our world characterized by global mobility. There is panic in large cities with streets full of garbage, a state of emergency is declared and medical personnel refuse to work. Flight, chaos, looting and food shortages are direct consequences of the MEV1 pathogen. The deadly danger is omnipresent, the contagion - the infection - can be triggered by the next kiss or handshake, by touching a doorknob or by hugging your own child. The virus destroys social life just as much as the individual human body. The scientists at the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) and Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), trying to find out more about the virus and develop a cure. Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) travels from the World Health Agency in Geneva to Hong Kong, where the origin of the disease is suspected.
In this play, the role of the only villain is taken over by the fanatical blogger and freelance journalist Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law), who causes panic around the world with his Internet articles. Krumwiede is supposed to embody the archetype of demagogic evil: he pretends to fight for freedom of expression and spreads windy conspiracy theories. He accuses governments, WHO and the pharmaceutical industry of complicity in preventing homeopathic remedies. And he himself recommends a remedy (forsythia) explicitly called "homeopathic" in the film. He healed himself after being infected with the virus. In a television discussion
there is a showdown between the CDC and Krumwiede: “The CDC is doing research on forsythia and other homeopathic medicines. So far, however, all of these approaches have not been scientifically substantiated, ”Soderbergh says. Say Ellis Cheever of the CDC. "Or not wanted," countered Alan Krumwiede. "To get infected with fear, contact with the Internet is enough. What Mr. Krumwiede is disseminating here is far more dangerous than the disease itself, ”this brings Cheever's enemy of homeopathy and freedom of expression and information to its peak.
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Authoritative doctrine When Krumwiede calls for the boycott of the vaccine that was finally found and continues to recommend forsythia, he is arrested. A blood test shows that he never had the virus. In Contagion, a link to swine flu (H1N1) is also made several times. The mistake of back then, raising the alarm too quickly and terrifying people should not be repeated with the MEV1 virus. Rather, the reluctance to deal with explosive information is seen as entirely positive. Why is Soderbergh and his fanatical blogger journalist so disavowing the Internet and the freedom of the press and freedom of expression that it offers?
In the SARS epidemic 2003, for example, the Chinese authorities censored all press reports for a long time - counter-information via the Internet would have been life-saving.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung puts it in a nutshell: "Soderbergh becomes a crux in that he stages a good, authoritative lesson. For him, the social virus of anxiety panic is more dangerous than the MEV-1 virus. As if Soderbergh wanted to say to a disaster-stricken America: With all the loss of confidence in politics, where science comes into play, everything is fine, and from there, order is restored. ”
Despite all justified criticism of the Hollywood blockbuster, it was an advertising film for the vaccine manufacturing industry without any critical reflection or it was launched by the pharmaceutical industry immediately after the swine flu vaccine failure. Or he divides medicine and science into good and bad. Contagion makes it unmistakably clear: homeopathy has arrived in Hollywood - and only those who are relevant are constructed in Hollywood as an enemy. (German Central Association for Homeopathy)