From celebrated director Yung Chang, the man behind films like Up The Yangtze, The Fruit Hunters and This is Not a Movie, comes an unflinching look at dedicated people fighting hard back against the killer that is COVID-19, Wuhan Wuhan. Co-produced with Martial Arts Legend Donnie Yen, Chang and his team starts filming in February 2020, while Wuhan is still very much in the clutches of its first massive wave of the disease, and remarkably gain full access to areas that would otherwise likely be unfathomable.
Wuhan Wuhan follows the lives of a few people at the frontlines of the crisis, like the volunteer driver that takes medical personnel from their quarantine hotels to their hospitals – be it an existing building or a makeshift facility – all while his pregnant wife worries from home. Or the psychiatrist trying to help keep the patients and doctors sane, all while dealing with issues of her own at home with her own ailing parents. Or the many medical team members highlighted here, many of whom are so bundled up in PPE that co-workers and patients only know who they are by their names scrawled in sharpie on their exterior suits. Many patients being saved and recovering without ever seeing their doctor’s face.
The film is packed with poignant moments and scenes that show the devastation and the struggle firsthand as hospitals are packed to capacity while PPE supplies are dangerously low. There’s even a segment with a patient who screams at the camera while ripping off his oxygen mask “Keep the camera on me because I’ll be dead in a couple of days”.
While one cannot recommend Wuhan Wuhan for pure entertainment purposes, it’s almost imperative that everyone watches the film for a humane purpose. Audiences are very unlikely to leave the film unchanged.