Endure, Not Cure: Rammbock and Pandemic Experience
This work examines the concept of a pandemic in microcosm through a close analysis of the German zombie film Rammbock (Marvin Kren, 2010, Germany). Unlike blockbuster zombie films that focus on the size and spread of the contagion, Rammbock looks at the individual on the ground, in this case away from the urban centres where assistance and specialist support might be found. Importantly, in this film the virus is harmless until “switched on” through anger or rage. The film is, therefore, about how to avoid activating the virus, which creates interesting links to the present pandemic, where personal responsibility plays a role in limiting contagion and spread of the illness. Rammbock also explores the impact of isolation, again offering comparisons to present circumstances where individuals have had to isolate and in so doing have become cut off from assistance and human contact, leading to varying degrees of mental health issues. That Rammbock’s version of a pandemic does not focus on the ability of humanity to medically remedy the virus is also relevant to the current situation, where it seems to be a case of endure, not cure.
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