2016 | 97 min | USA
Directed by Janet Tobias
Australian Premiere



In the 21st century, we are all connected. Population growth, mass urbanization, deforestation, climate change and increased travel have dramatically increased the risk that familiar diseases will emerge, spread and mutate. Unseen Enemy takes to the frontlines of epidemics across the world and asks the question, ‘how will we fight the next outbreak’?

Unseen Enemy is an essential exploration of the reasons why 21st-century populations are experiencing a rash of diseases that were once only outbreaks, but have now become full-blown epidemics.

This increased risk that we face, and the ways society and individuals can work together to reduce that risk, are explained to the public through the case studies of three epidemics: Ebola, influenza and Zika. Moving across the globe, we meet doctors, disease detectives and everyday people who have stepped into the horror of an epidemic and emerged deeply changed. Epidemics bring out the best and worst of human behaviour, with effects reaching far beyond the tolls of sickness and death.

What the epidemics followed in Unseen Enemy have made clear is that we, as a society, are woefully unprepared for a major pandemic. As stated by Dr. Larry Brilliant, “Two speeding trains are racing toward each other, both fueled by modernity: one represents the increasing likelihood of a pandemic brought upon us by our own behavior; the other carries new tools and technologies that could help us find viruses and bacteria early enough to prevent a global outbreak. The choice is ours as to which of those speeding trains wins.”


*This film has been exempt from classification and is restricted to people over 15 years. People under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.