Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:00 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:00 | SYDNEY

28 Weeks Later


Sam Roggeveen


5 February 2008 11:00

Welcome back to International Policy Projector, our occasional series looking at international policy through movies and TV.

As the NY Times said in its review of this film, zombie movies have always been rich territory for metaphor. And although 28 Weeks Later doesn’t lay it on too thick, the early references to a London ’green zone’, where a small group of citizens is protected by a cordon of US troops, makes it pretty tempting to see this as an allegory for the Iraq occupation. In short order, the deadly virus we first saw in 28 Days Later takes hold again, and soon the troops can’t tell the difference between normal people and The Infected, which does again suggest parallels with the challenges of fighting an insurgency. It would have been easy to go the whole hog and turn the film into a diatribe against American military cruelty, but to its credit, the film deals with the troops' dilemma in a realistic way. Some are overcome by the stress of battle, others rise to the occasion, but all are caught in a crisis with no easy answers. 

A footnote: Slate, in its review, argued that the zombies represent Starbucks and, more broadly, the cultural homogenisation caused by globalisation. This argument was made more recently in Starbucked, which was rather fiercely (and, to my mind, convincingly) reviewed here.