A first glance at this premise and you might think this should be a made for TV movie. However, once you notice Academy Award winning director, Steven Soderbergh, and the Academy Award winning/nominated cast (Cotillard, Damon, Fishburne, Law, Paltrow, & Winslet), one may take more than a passing glance at Contagion. You can also throw in a screenwriter (Burns) who has played a part in The Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant, and the much-anticipated remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, and you realize this might actually be a great picture. Maybe not Oscar material (even though there is some Oscar buzz about it…we just created some) but a well-made thriller.

Not only do the cast and filmmaker cause one to think that this film takes its craft very seriously, but the story is one that truly resonates with all audiences. The story follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. Just like several of the movies we’ve discussed on this blog, we have a story that employs the element of fear to get people into the seats.

Contagion uses a likely scenario to strike fear in our hearts but, it hits on a deeper level than that. It’s a disease that drives people into isolation, which ultimately goes against the way we are created.

As this airborne contagion is becoming more widespread, the characters of the film are attempting to remain immune, even though the origin of the virus is unknown. We hear one character remark, “Don’t talk to anyone, don’t touch anyone, stay away from other people. We may not realize this because we’re surrounded by people each and everyday, but being completely alone is terrifying.

Some people think they want to be alone and when we get moments of solitude those can be nice, but to be completely cut-off and separated from mankind is terrifying. It’s terrifying because we weren’t designed to be alone; we were created for community.

As we have said on this blog before, every human is created in the image of God – whether they recognize that or not makes no difference. We are created in the image of God and God is three Persons in One; i.e. the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit [Gen. 1:26]. These three persons dwell with each other in perfect communion and fellowship. Therefore, we too desire to have perfect communion and fellowship with one another. That’s why going to the local theater is not an individual experience, but a shared experience. Movies are typically funnier when the whole audience is laughing and they’re scarier when the whole theater is screaming. This is true because these experiences are shared.

This is why Contagion is all the more thrilling and frightful. It’s terrifying because a widespread disease is something every human realizes could become a reality. But the design of this film adds another layer to the fear by creating a virus that divides and separates human beings from one another.

The reality is, sin is our contagion. Sin divides us and wars against community. It separates and drives us into isolation. It causes paranoia and fear in each of us. Although sin spreads faster than an airborne virus and its path causes great destruction, we do have a Cure for our contagion. We will look more intently at this tomorrow.

  1. […] Yesterday we determined that every human being is designed for community, but every human being has been infected by a ‘virus’ called sin.  Let us get back to the garden to look at this a bit more closely. […]

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