Human behaviour during COVID-19 pandemic ‘deeply irrational’, says ‘Contagion’ director Soderbergh

The 2011 movie, about the spread of a highly contagious and deadly virus, has come back in public consciousness as the world grapples with the coronavirus

Updated - May 23, 2020 06:02 pm IST

Published - May 23, 2020 06:01 pm IST

Director Steven Soderbergh

Director Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh may have aptly shown it how a pandemic could start and quickly grip the world within a few months through his film Contagion , but the director says the human response to the outbreak in reality is something that baffles him.

The 2011 movie, about the spread of a highly contagious and deadly virus, has come back in public consciousness as the world grapples with the coronavirus. The film, predictably, is enjoying a spike in popularity.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times , Soderbergh said after making “Contagion”, which he directed from a screenplay by Scott Z. Burns, he wasn’t surprised by how the coronavirus crisis played out in the real world.

“Everybody we talked to when we were preparing that film, every expert, when we asked them how will the next one start, to a person, they said, wet market, Asia, there’s probably going to be a bat involved.”

“Literally all of them. Ten years ago, 11 years ago. So it’s not a surprise,” Soderbergh said.

However, the filmmaker said he found it “fascinating” how the world and its leaders have dealt with pandemic.

“It’s been fascinating to see the aspects of this narrative play out that we didn’t think about. The sociological behaviour, how people have behaved as individuals, as states, as countries — that’s been really fascinating. And something that very purposely, Scott and I were trying to keep the narrative very focused and we had rules about points of view and what we can see and what we couldn’t see.

“But wow, there’s a lot of really fascinating human behaviour that we didn’t even think about when we were doing this. It’s just a reminder of how deeply irrational we are. When we’re put into some sort of fear-threat space, we become deeply illogical. It’s crazy to witness,” Soderbergh added.

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