Film review: Contagion – For Soderbergh, creators of vaccines are new worldwide saviors!
In his 2011 pseudo-documentary, Contagion, Steven Soderbergh has endorsed the idea that modern medicine has taken the place of world religion and elevated the physicians and research scientists to the role of high priests. Soderbergh is in perfect sync with fear-mongering health organizations such as the CDC, who manufacture health epidemics in order to peddle vaccines to an unsuspecting public, who have gladly given up any sense of individual responsibility for taking care of their own health. The ‘Contagion’ is an event that government health bureaucrats probably unconsciously wish for; after all, such an event would confirm all their dire predictions and place them in a position of complete power and control. Victims in the ‘Contagion’ must undergo suffering akin to Christ on the cross. Their rite of ‘baptism’ is through the modern vaccine, where their ‘demons’ are exorcised and they end up owing a life-time debt to the medical and research establishment for supposedly saving their life.
Unfortunately for modern medicine, contagions as depicted in Soderbergh’s film, are strictly a work of complete fiction. Invariably, every few years, the CDC, partnering with local health organizations, warn of crippling health pandemics, which can only be prevented by mass inoculations (leading to billions of dollars of profits by pharmaceutical companies). Take, for example, West Nile Virus, one of the latest health scares which was supposed to cause havoc throughout North America. Usually its small sample of victims turn out to be elderly people who already are suffering from a myriad of health problems. But of course the pundits of orthodox medicine conclude that all these people’s’ problems stem from a single source: a mosquito bite.
In Soderbergh’s perverse world, alternative practitioners are the ‘heretics’ who must be suppressed. Jude Law’s blogger, Alan Krumweide, has the temerity to expose CDC head Ellis Cheever, who has given advance warning of the impending contagion crisis to family and friends so that they’re able to flee Chicago before a quarantine has been imposed. Soderbergh’s strategy is to temporarily have Krumweide take down the saintly Cheever a peg, in order to show that he’s ‘only human’. Later saintly Cheever, gives up his own precious vaccine to save the son of a janitor who works at CDC headquarters. The ‘fallen’ Cheever (also blamed for delays in the dissemination of an effective vaccine) is restored to the pantheon of saints after his self-sacrifice involving the janitor’s son. Meanwhile, Krumweide is exposed as a fraud, after peddling a homeopathic remedy as a cure (which he’s surreptitiously marketed to investors) and pretending as well that he’s been infected with the virus. Homeland Security partners with modern medicine, just as the Catholic church found their own government allies in bygone days, to take down anyone who dared to question their dogmatic belief systems. Soderbergh is smugly satisfied as the ‘evil’ blogger is taken away in handcuffs by ‘valiant’ government security agents!
If the imperfect Dr. Cheever is ‘canonized’ at film’s end, there’s no need for Dr. Ally Hextall to have her reputation sullied at all. After all, it’s Dr. Hextall who identifies the characteristics of the MEV-1 virus , linking it to a genetic mix of bat and pig viruses. Hextall’s role here is way beyond a mere priest. She can be likened to a modern day Jesus, a veritable Savior, who miraculously discovers that elusive cure, a vaccine that immediately provides the immunity to the deadly contagion. At the conclusion of ‘Contagion’, we learn of the pseudo-science behind the MEV-1 virus’ origins. It’s simply a matter of a bat dropping part of an uneaten banana into a pig’s trough. The pig who eats the infected banana ends up in the kitchen of a Macao casino; and because the chef merely forgets to wash his hands, he somehow transmits the virus to Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow). On the other hand, it’s unclear why others, such as everyman Mitch Emhoff and his daughter Jory, are immune to the virus, despite close contact with initial victim Beth.
If alternative practitioners are directly linked to the work of the devil, bureaucrats who seek to stymie the ‘godly’ work of vaccine researchers, run a close second. Dr. Mears (Kate Winslet) an ‘Epidemic Intelligence Officer’ is rebuffed by local bureaucrats who are reluctant to commit resources to handle the impending crisis. Worse are the officials who send a ransom of placebos following World Health Organization epidemiologist Orantes’s kidnapping by a Chinese epidemiologist after he attempts to save the remaining survivors in his own village who have no access to the ‘precious’ vaccines. Note more saintly self-sacrifice: Dr. Mears succumbs to the deadly contagion and Orantes nobly runs back to the village to warn them that the vaccines they’ve obtained, are bogus!
In the 1950s, orthodox medicine elevated their first ‘miracle worker’ to the pantheon of modern day world saviors. That man’s name was Dr. Jonas Salk–creator of the polio vaccine. Now Soderbergh wants to outdo even Salk; his ‘Contagion’ can perhaps be seen as an allegory, likening the deadly plague to cancer itself. Soderbergh’s vaccine is so powerful, that it prevents the eradication of the human race.
Ultimately, Soderbergh never questions the ‘gospel truth’ of modern orthodox medicine but always sticks to the ‘company line’. Instead he would do well to listen to Edda West who cogently sets the record straight in regards to that earlier ‘epidemic’ in her article, ‘Polio Perspectives’: “That the polio virus is the sole cause of polio is accepted by most people as gospel, and that the Salk and Sabin vaccines eradicated polio in the western world is etched into our collective consciousness as the major medical miracle of our time. But the history of polio and its vaccines is shrouded in a murky mist of politico/scientific manipulation, altered statistics, redefinition and reclassification of the disease, increased cases of vaccine induced paralytic polio, and monkey viruses transmitted by contaminated vaccines to millions of people worldwide.”