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Perpetuating Disaster Myth through Film - Essay Example

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Since Hollywood producers are mainly concerned with selling the movies, they often stretch realities and exaggerate disasters and their causes so that they can appeal to a large number of audiences…
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Perpetuating Disaster Myth through Film
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Download file to see previous pages The table below shows the presence of these myths in the two movies.
In Outbreak, the Motaba virus spreads in US after the host animal (a monkey) is illegally brought to the United States. In Contagion, the disease spreads when a single cook forgets to wash his hands after handling a pig. In both the movies, the start of the disaster is the result of inconsequential events and not a dramatic event. Thus, the first myth is not present in either of the two movies.
In Outbreak, even though the virus is localized to an area, the movie focuses on the large-scale impact of the disaster and ignores smaller events. On the other hand, Contagion looks at both the large-scale impact as well as small events. Thus, the second myth is present in Outbreak but not in Contagion.
In Outbreak, the disaster becomes huge because it quickly kills 150 people in a small area. Similarly, in Contagion, 26 million people die globally. In both movies, the death of a large number of people emphasizes the magnitude of the disaster. Thus, the third myth is present in both the movies.
The Outbreak suggests that if people are able to predict the disaster, they can prepare for it and prevent deaths. This does not apply to Contagion in which there seems to be no way of stopping the spread of virus. Thus, the fourth myth is present in Outbreak but not in Contagion.
Outbreak uses the technocratic approach to solve the problem as scientists and doctors work hard to find a cure for the disease, an anti-serum. Contagion takes a much more holistic approach to fighting the disease with scientists and administrators pooling resources to fight the disease. Thus, the fifth myth is present in Outbreak but not in Contagion.
From this analysis of the two movies, we see that compared to Outbreak, Contagion presents the disaster in a more realistic way. Contagion presents data to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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