2011, Steven Soderbergh -- cinema
Contagion was almost an emotionless depiction of a disease that ravages the world, starting with the literal first case and ending with the vaccine. It's clinical in its depiction, reserved in its drama. but it is also relentless sparing few, even award winning actors. At its start the fear is heightened by the speed of the disease, the quick road from cough to death. This is no story about the rush to a cure but more the rush to containment and, when that fails, the slow plod to stability.
The movie draws more upon what we have been experiencing for the last few years, than from fiction like I mentioned. SARS, bird flu, etc. are all things we have seen happen around us whether on the news or across the street, as I did when SARS was in the pubic view. The combination of heightened nervousness and placid apathy is there as cities depopulate, governments impose draconian measures and sensationalists cash in. Is it completely realistic? I am not sure as no matter what we have really experienced, we have never seen hundreds of people dying around us. The movie ends with an explanation settling in a fear that no matter how much we sanitize, something could just ... happen.