My wife and I saw “Contagion” on Saturday night. Basically a very decent thriller with a satisfying bevy of villains human and viral.
The film is essentially about touching (or not touching, as the case may be). A touch can kill, and does multiple times. But a human touch can also save, as it does, multiple times.
The film is also, unabashedly, pro-science, science as the condition of innovation. The virus is unbeatable with hysteria, troops, greedy bloggers, and even that mainstay of American media life today, feelings, no matter how strong. The only thing that beats the virus is patient, skeptical questions and answers about where the virus comes from, how it spreads, what it looks like, and how to boost the immune system against it. You need courage, too, but courage has to be guided by reason.
This is science, which comes in for an awful beating in our political life nowadays. And there’s a lot of “folks” (as we call people we want to speak for) who think we can have innovation without skepticism. It doesn’t happen, in or out of the movies.