Put it down to a morbid interest in epidemics, but there was no material in this documentary I had not seen or heard before. The interviews were for most part good and I definitely enjoyed watching Dr. Moses (front line medical professional during Liberia's Ebola outbreak) say his piece, but the underlying message of needing to do more to prevent future outbreaks is actually quite illogical. How do you prevent something when you do not know what is coming down the pike? It did not help that the person they chose to hammer home the message was Peter Sands (former CEO of Standard Chartered). If Hong Kong had known that SARS was going to be a risk, do you not think that they would have done something about it? But they did not and could not have known that an outbreak of the then novel SARS virus was going to occur.
The filmmakers want to drive the point that prevention is a lot cheaper than treatment, but offer no real suggestion as to how prevention is possible or what might be done to prepare for a pandemic. Aside from giving more money and resources to public health professionals who obviously have a vested interest in promoting the idea that prevention is possible, what else do we do?
Much of the documentary is quite preachy, like the stuff on climate change. But production value was often decent and they did manage to get some of the biggest names in the field of public health to give interviews. So despite the fact that it was mostly boring and not insightful, I have given this a 5 star rating. You will not be entertained and unless you know nothing about the outbreaks of recent years, you will not learn much from watching this film.
They made a movie on an important topic that is not likely to have any impact whatsoever on public discourse. Really, a wasted opportunity.
Unseen Enemy is an essential exploration of reasons 21st-century populations are experiencing a rash of diseases that were once only outbreaks, but have now become full-blown epidemics. This increased risk that we face, and the ways society and individuals can work together to reduce that risk, are explained to the public through the case studies of three epidemics: Ebola, influenza and Zika. Moving across the globe, we meet doctors, disease detectives and everyday people who have stepped into the horror of an epidemic and emerged deeply changed. Epidemics bring out the best and worst of human behavior, with effects reaching far beyond the tolls of sickness and death.
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January 17, 2019 at 06:09 PM