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Stories for June 27, 2003

28 Days Later

June 27, 2003
By Beth Accomando and Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

The film opens with a group of animal rights activists breaking into a lab to set the test animals free. A technician warns them that the chimps have all been infected with rage, a highly contagious virus that provokes uncontrollable violence. They ignore his warning and release the animals that immediately attack and infect them. Cut to 28 days later. England is an eerily deserted wasteland. In an hospital, a young man awakes from a coma and wanders the streets as if he were the last human on earth. But then darkness falls and Jim (Cillian Murphy) meets up with his first infected creature -- a red-eyed, violently spazzing priest -- who pursues him with single-minded determination. As Jim flees, he encounters Selena (Naomi Harris), a hardened survivor who gives him the low down on the situation. She tells him that most of England has been wiped out and that the infection spreads through blood. A single drop of infected blood that enters your mouth, eyes or open wound is all you need to become one of them, and the transformation occurs in less than 30 seconds. And in that brief moment, you see all humanity wiped out from the victim. One of the films most disturbing and touching scenes occurs when an infected man, knowing that he'll soon be turning on those around him, takes his last seconds to express his love to the child he leaves behind.

Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

June 27, 2003
By Baccomando and KPBS Public Broadcasting