Revisiting and rethinking 28 Weeks Later

I’m very pressed for time, and instead of revisiting films I’d rather focus on seeing something for the first time. Today, I was lucky enough to get a second chance to see last year’s 28 Weeks Later. While, to a certain extent, I enjoyed the film the first time around, I reduced the second half to being episodic, and feeling more like a video game than a film. I was lucky to be forced into rewatching this for a class, because it’s impact and power has appreciated in my eyes. The film is much more than a shock-filled rehash of Boyle’s original, but an interesting product of a post-September world. It appeals on social anxiety for its mood, our fear of disease, government and annihilation.

Consciously, it’s clear the filmmakers are trying to replicate visually a society destroyed by war. The images of the film are not a far cry from images of a destroyed Baghdad or other war stricken city. 28 Weeks Later, focuses on the rebuilding of such a city or society, especially expressing our fears of what may go wrong. When the virus is re-introduced into the city, there is also an emphasis on a sort of mass hysteria that replicates our fears and reactions to mass terrorism. These scenes rely on claustrophobia, surprise and an almost objective representation of events, depersonalizing and replaying the deaths and destruction of human beings. I have my own personal experience with “mass violence”, and I have to say this is probably the single sequence that brings me closer to those events. I don’t think it’s an exploitive interpretation in the least, but rather an honest one. It appeals to the viewer’s empathy, while on the other hand trying to objectify shots critically, in a way replicating a more media-oriented presentation. These shots are interspersed before being rejected entirely when one soldier notices a young boy. The faceless and repeated images of people gain sudden meaning and importance, and in a way, it’s the best example of popular arts criticizing the media coverage of violent events in recent years.

To be continued…

One response to “Revisiting and rethinking 28 Weeks Later

  1. Pingback: 28 Weeks Later | QuickNews

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