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Pick of the week: Beautiful white people hit by tsunami!

Using natural disaster – or manmade apocalypse, ecological catastrophe, alien invasion – as the backdrop for human drama goes clear back to the invention of cinema as spectacle, and arguably a long way before that. Of course we’re not supposed to think that the big, dramatic flood is the main point of the Noah story in the Book of Genesis, or in the Epic of Gilgamesh. But it certainly helped hold the audience’s attention. Given that, it’s surprising that mainstream filmmakers have all but ignored the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, an event that killed almost 100 times more people than the 9/11 attacks and may well have been the worst natural disaster in recorded history.

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