When COVID-19 started taking over the world many were looking for someone to blame, and inevitably their eyes landed on the city of Wuhan in China where the virus was first detected. To many it was their fault we were forced to be locked down, and their fault that people were dying. The people of Wuhan were being held accountable for something that was hitting them just as hard as the rest of the world. And ignorance and intolerance caused a lot of hatred to be flung in the direction of the Asian people. Part of the reason behind their misdirected hatred was because no one knew what was going on, because China closed their country off from the rest of the world. All of that it about to change however, thanks to the new documentary by award-winning director Yung Chang called Wuhan Wuhan.
Wuhan Wuhan tells the story of the people in Wuhan, China. It looks closely at those locked down inside the city, from a couple expecting a baby, to families quarantined in temporary shelters and the medical workers who risk their lives daily to help. It explores the people behind the pandemic, and how they manage to cope with the stress, fear and anger that threatens to overpower them while dealing with the unknown. It’s a story of hope, driven by the unwavering people who live in Wuhan.
Many documentaries fall into the trap of trying to depict the story they want you to see, with bias twisting and turning the facts into something that’s not quite the way it happened. Wuhan Wuhan doesn’t try to do that. In fact, other than a few printed words during the prologue and epilogue, the documentary is entirely played out by the people they are focused on. You see their story, and the world they are living in. You even get to peek behind the curtain and see the personal lives of those fighting to save lives each and every day. Politics are kept out of the narrative, as is the science. Wuhan Wuhan is all about the human spirit and our ability to continue to hope, even in the face of adversity.
We’ve all faced COVID-19 in our own way, and it’s affected out lives in ways that will continue to affect us for years to come. If there is a theme in Wuhan Wuhan it’s the same motto we’ve heard over and over throughout the entire pandemic, we’re all in this together. Throughout his film Chang show us why it’s important for us to put up a united front and face the invisible. To face life-threatening opponent together, instead of doing our own, individual thing.