The documentary film Days and Nights in Wuhan reveals how people from all walks of life tackled COVID-19. China DAIL

Y

On Jan 23 last year, Wuhan, the city hit hardest by COVID-19 in China, announced a lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the outbreak. Over the next 76 days of the lockdown in the capital of Central China’s Hubei province, normal daily life halted´╝Źa sacrifice by the residents of the city and the province that helped other parts of the country.

A Chinese documentary film, Days and Nights in Wuhan, which takes a look back on the city’s battle against the pandemic, debuted in theaters in late January, with many in the audience saying they shed tears during its screening.

“It’s not a film that just wants to praise heroes. Those featured in it are ordinary people who are trying hard to live, making us see their greatness in an unusual time,” says a viewer on the popular review aggregator Douban, on which the movie has notched up 7.7 points out of 10.

Singer-actress Zhou Xun sings the film’s theme song.

Spanning a runtime of 95 minutes, the film was edited from more than 1,000 hours of footage shot by 31 cinematographers and camera crew during the city’s lockdown.

Unfolding through a restrained narration without a continuous voice-over heard in documentaries, the film follows around 10 groups of individuals, ranging from patients battling COVID-19 to medical staff and volunteers at the forefront, showing some of their most emotional moments.

Such shots include a severely ill elderly man displaying his strong will to live by listening to his grand-children’s poetry recitations on a portable player; an infected woman yearning to reunite with her infant who was being treated in another hospital; and a young woman retrieving the belongings of her mother who had died of COVID-19.

A special volunteer team is also featured in the film. Wang Ziyi, a 1988-born Wuhan native who led the team, organized drivers to send nearly 30 pregnant women in labor to hospitals when most vehicles in Wuhan were busy transporting coronavirus patients and relief supplies.

China Movie Channel, which presents Days and Nights in Wuhan, had shifted its focus from reporting film News to producing a series of TV shows about the country’s battle against the outbreak early last year. One of the shows featured 300 stars expressing their good wishes and support to people in Wuhan.

Li Wei, chief producer and head of the channel’s subsidiary website 1905.com, says the channel had accumulated a large number of video clips by March, laying the foundation for the documentary’s production.