Outbreak: Anatomy of a Plague is a 90 minute docu-fiction feature film directed by Jefferson Lewis, and produced by PMA Productions, and the National Film Board of Canada. Based on the book Plague: How Smallpox Devastated Montreal by eminent historian Michael Bliss, the film breaks with traditional documentary by juxtaposing riveting re-enactments of the 1885 epidemic with a fictional modern-day scenario – Patient Zero, a flight attendant, lands in Montreal with what looks like chickenpox and turns out to be something far more deadly. The film’s compelling interviews feature front-line doctors, epidemiologists, journalists and senior emergency planners speculating on the lessons of history and how a contemporary pandemic could become reality.
The film premiered at the National Film Board of Canada Cinema in Montreal on April 1, 2010. It is airing, in English, on the Discovery Channel, and in French, on Radio Canada.