28 Days Later is a movie that starts with a group of animal activists breaking into a laboratory full of chimpanzee with the intent of freezing them from what they refer to as the prison. Unfortunately, the chimpanzees have a rage virus infection and despite the protests from one of the scientists, the chimpanzees are released. They attack human beings and kill everybody sending humanity into a possible extinction. After 28 days, Jim, a young man and the main character awakens by himself in a hospital. He starts wandering around the hospital looking for someone but there is no one. Luckily, he finds junk foods and a cache of soda and finds his way out of the hospital. Here, he finds empty streets in London with no signs of life. Iconic scenery and haunting music makes Jim’s hopelessness worse. Finally, he comes across a church but when he enters, he only sees carnage with dead bodies everywhere and what seemed like some survivors. Soon he discovers that these survivors are no longer human, an infected priest attacks him but manages to fight him off, and head back to the deserted streets of London.
The values and messages passed across in the 28 Days Later film are a contrast to those of other British films. This though is how ethnicity, violence, gender and the city of London portrayed (Storey 51). These elements are very different from how they are in other films. First gender forms one of the many ways through which values and messages come across. The film begins by introducing the main character as a male, Jim that is the norm of the Britain films. However, the film soon portrays Jim as weak and is not able to survive by alone. Soon two more characters appear one of who is female named Selene and the representation of genders changes completely. Selena is dominant, strong and a good leader and she portrays these qualities early in the film when she kills her partner without second thoughts or without showing any signs of remorse. Later in the film, the audience meets Hannah, a strong woman who undertakes male jobs like fixing the wheels of a car quickly and efficiently. Her work allows the group to escape without harm. This film represents women as dominant with men sometimes appearing as weak as and less capable than women do. In addition, soldiers putting on flowery apron are an imagery representing deliberate gender role-reversal.
Violence and rage forms the driving force for most of the actions made in the film. The rate of infection is a representation of the increasing rate of violence not just in the western cultures, but also in the whole world. Violence starts with the onset of the movie with the animal rights activists breaking into a laboratory with chimpanzee in an attempt to save them from the cages (Murray and Heumann 181). Someone would assume that an activist, whether human or animal activist would be calm and approachable but in this case, they are ignorant and aggressive which clearly indicates how violence has affected even the minds of the most rational people in the society.
In most cases, there is a connection between gender in the society and the violence. Over the years, women have been subjects of violence from their male counterparts. Women across the globe continues to suffer under the hands of the men, in the film 28d days later, develops a metaphor when Hannah’s father get very angry and shakes her vigorously. This is a revelation that women still suffer under the masculinity of the men in their lives. It is also reveals people reveal their frustrations with new environments.
The military reveals violence. When we first encounter the military, is when they save the other actors from the infected ones, which makes the audience develop a positive attitude about them and the protagonists hoped they would be the same throughout the catastrophe they were going through. In fact, the protagonists welcome them and take them in so that they would get security and help (Murray and Heumann 182). Shortly after, we learn that the leader of the military, major Henry west had promised his soldiers women to give them a sense of family and continue the human race. However, the soldiers want the women for pleasure and not for continuity of the human race. In some instances, the soldiers opted to rape women in an attempt to fulfill their selfish desires. Violence is also directed against the minority groups in the society. In the military base, the soldier wanted to capture an infected for purposes of study and they opted to capture the only black soldier in the base. Considering the ratio of the white to black soldiers, it would have been easier to capture a white soldier than a black one but the opposite happens. The irony of all this violence is that the military, people entrusted to keep people safe castigate it.
The British and the American cultures are slightly different from each other and bear so much so in common. These differences in cultural ideologies, however, do not affect the consumption of the film. The film was a success both in the UK and in US. In the UK, had sales of £6.1 million ($12 million) while in the united states, the film became a surprise hit taking more than US$45 million despite the fact that the film had a limited release at less than 1,500 screens nationwide.