Movies that tackled the issue of pandemics

by Matthew Escosia
pandemic movies
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While a lot of people are searching for escapism while being obligated to stay indoors in the time of Coronavirus, it is important that we acknowledge the painful possibilities in this situation.

In this High Five list, we look into the five (5) movies that could be essential viewing at this time. While not the most realistic, these movies showed something partly true at the world we live in, a lot of which we can learn to.


5. The Flu (Kim Sing-su, 2013)

the flu pandemic movie

Kim Sing-su’s The Flu (2013). Photo courtesy of CJ Entertainment

Despite leaning towards over-the-top territory, there’s no denying how eerie The Flu could become. A recreation of the outbreak of H5N1, the film can teach us a lot of things when dealing with a growing pandemic.


4. 12 Monkeys (Terry Gilliam, 1995)

12 monkeys pandemic movie

Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995). Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Terry Gilliam’s apocalyptic-time travel movie, much like the next entry on this list, is easier to appreciate at the time of Coronavirus. Even though this movie features an ending that is not entirely optimistic, it sets a learning ground for people to aspire a better world for them. As cliché as it sounds, it’s the kind of message we need at this point.


3. World War Z (Marc Forster, 2013)


In World War Z, a father (Brad Pitt) traces the origins and possible cure to the global zombie pandemic. By allowing itself to embrace the action-thriller genre, the movie was able to show the importance of time in this type of situation.


2. Outbreak (Wolfgang Petersen, 1995)

outbreak movie

Wolfgang Petersen’s Outbreak (1995). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Outbreak has a firm understanding of how a pandemic works. It treats its disaster, a viral outbreak, as an invisible threat that could easily affect a multitude. And it also narrates how mismanagement of the situation could lead to inescapable consequences.


1. Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

contagion pandemic movie

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (2011). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Contagion is easily one of the most accessible pandemic movie by this point, and it seems more and more people are riding the wave to watch this movie. It boasts of a star-studded cast comprised of Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and a storyline that truly grips throughout. While imperfect, there’s still merits in its attempt for an authentic depiction of a society ridden by a widespread disease.


Do you have film recommendations you want to add in this list? Comment below and let’s discuss! Oh, and remember to always stay indoors and practice safety measures. Stay safe!

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