Monday, 30 March, 2020

Movies on virus


By Renuka Dhakal

Kathmandu, Mar.27: For many people living indoors during lockdown movies have been a great source to kill their time boredom.
People have a long list of movies to watch during the lockdown.
“At other times, it was not easy to watch movies like this but now, in the state of self-quarantine, I have made up my mind to watch some of my favourite movies”, said Kiran Subedi.
People are now staying home after the government imposed the nation-wide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19.
Many people who are confined in their houses are finding movies as their favourite pastime.
“Movies are my best pastimes these days and they are really entertaining people by conveying message on viruses through visual communication”, said Roshan Giri.
This is not the case simply because we are now living in a fear of the novel coronavirus; the virus had already killed many lives, he added.
As films depict the reality of society, some of the best films have already shown the virus and its consequences in reels, said Sunil Gautam. Gautam further said that he had been researching the movies which make people aware about the viruses.
The cinemas have already shown things like washing hands with soap and water and wearing masks while going outside, and maintaing a relative distance from the people who are suffering from flu and common cold.
Among those movies, Hollywood movie “Outbreak” (1995) starred by Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman and directed by Wolfgang Petersen is about the army doctors struggling to find the cure for a deadly virus brought to California in the United States by an African monkey. It reveals the outbreak of the virus clearly and shows how the virus plagues the people rapidly. And, it shows how the doctors are infected during the treatment.
Likewise, another Hollywood movie “12 Monkeys” released in 1995 is also about an unknown and deadly virus that infected billions of people.
The movie directed by Terry Gilliam with Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt in lead role shows that the unknown virus may kill 99 % of people by 2035 leaving only 1 % of the population alive.
This movie’s plot developed when convicted James Cole (Bruce Willis), who went to volunteer to seek information about the disease to the army of the Twelve Monkeys, a group believed to remove the deadly virus, which nearly wiped out the earth’s population.
Similarly, “Contagion” is one of such movies about the un-known virus, which already had infected many people in Hong Kong.
Beth Emhoff , (a movie character) returns from a business trip to Hong Kong and dies due to flu. She unknowingly transmitted the virus to her son and husband. Her young son dies later the same day and her husband Mitch was also infected and he goes to isolation. Soon, the disease starts spreading in the country. The virus was spreading in a geometric progression, and if a solution is not found, the humanity will be in danger. Contagion directed by Steven Soderbergh and acted by Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jude Law was screened in 2011 which has IMDB rating 6.5 out of 10.
Similarly, 2019 South Indian Movie, ‘Virus’ shows the real events during the 2018 NIPAH Virus outbreak in Kerala. Aashiq Abu’s Virus depicts heroic moments that help control the virus more effectively. The film discusses the collective insanity created by the virus outbreak and how it disrupts the lives of individuals, both victims and healthcare professionals.
There are many other movies to report the deadly virus that killed and infected millions of people such as “93 Days”, Korean movie “Flu”, and “Blindness” , documentary drama “Small Pox”.
Coronavirus has rapidly been spreading throughout the world, infecting people in 197 counties as per the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, till now 18,589 have already died and 416,686 people are infected with this virus. While in Nepal, three cases have been found positive, and one of them had returned home after a full recovery.
However, infectious virus related movies have not yet been produced in Nepali filmdom. Nepali films have often been rooted in romantic love stories, actions, political and some horror genera.
In order to depict the reality of society, Nepali filmmakers must also make films related to diseases and viruses to make the people aware about the dangerous virus and diseases. 

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