pandemic movies
These pandemic movies and series could just help you better understand the current state of the world. Source: Olivier Douliery/AFP

So you’ve binge-watched Money Heist, Kim’s Convenience, and everything else Netflix put out in the past month. Even those nostalgic Bollywood movies are done and dusted.

Now what?

Thankfully, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment in this quarantine. These two pandemic movies and one very timely documentary series are sure to provide some perspective on our current situation while keeping you entertained over the weekend.


Source: Netflix

This 2011 flick has reemerged in pop culture, drawing comparison to the COVID-19 outbreak that has taken over the globe.

We follow the development of a fictional MEV-1 virus, which is modelled upon the Nipah virus that broke out in 1999. The MEV-1 pandemic spreads everywhere from Chicago to Tokyo, causing heightened paranoia and forced quarantine as millions are infected.

With a star-studded cast keeping an exhilarating pace, Contagion doesn’t stray too far from the realities of science and healthcare. At the same time, it portrays a relatable narrative of human responses to crises, be it solidarity or disorder.

Train to Busan

pandemic movies

Source: Netflix

Before Parasite, this was the South Korean movie the world was raving about.

It tells the story of a father and his daughter who are travelling on a train from Seoul to Busan as a mysterious virus grips the nation. The father does all he can to protect his daughter from the passengers, who are quickly turning into zombies.

Okay, so a zombie outbreak may not fall under the World Health Organisation definition of a pandemic. But this movie is so deliciously suspenseful and fast-paced that you’re sure to be kept at the edge of your seat while exploring themes of selflessness and humanity.

It’s also unexpectedly moving, so keep your tissues close.

Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak

Source: Netflix

Though they may be of different strains and origins, viral pandemics unfold in similar ways throughout the course of history. The big question is, has mankind learned from the past?

This documentary series sheds light on this by following the people on the front lines of healthcare, especially those with experience managing previous outbreaks. Through their eyes, we are able to gain deeper understanding of pandemic prevention, management, and treatment.

Here’s a series that will keep you engaged while imparting relevant knowledge that you wish you had known before.

Though it was filmed over the course of the 2018-2019 flu season, it features some eerie foreshadowing about the next big pandemic. Production ended just a few months before the COVID-19 outbreak, and Netflix released it in late January, just as the virus took hold globally.

Talk about timing!

In the words of co-director Dough Shultz, “It’s very strange [to] look back and see that we sort of took this trip through exactly what is happening right now.”

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