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Chinese celebrities sponsor free screenings of COVID-19 documentary ‘Days and Nights in Wuhan’

2021/1/15 9:27:30   source:Global Times

Photo: screenshot of the trailer of Days and Nights in Wuhan posted on Sina Weibo

To help promote the Chinese documentary film Days and Nights in Wuhan, which is set for release in Chinese mainland cinemas on January 22, hundreds of Chinese celebrities have booked more than 300 free screenings in 75 cities across the nation so moviegoers can see for themselves the struggle the city of Wuhan, once the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, experienced while fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“The film should be released around the world, to allow people in the US to watch it. Then they can see how strong-willed Chinese people are and how they respect life. They can also learned how Chinese people survived through this epidemic,” famed Chinese director Xu Zheng said after watching the film in a video uploaded to social media on Wednesday.

The comment has struck a chord among Chinese netizens, with the video earning more than 250 million views on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo as of Thursday.

In the video Xu said that the part of the film that moved him most was a section that showed medical workers treating infected patients like their own family, helping them wash their hands and faces as they lay in hospital beds.

“I couldn’t hold back my tears when I saw the scene of a worker collecting the cell phones of those who had passed away, putting them one by one in a box. Another medical worker stood on a street and apologizes to a young woman, saying that they tried their best but were unable to save her relatives,” a Wuhan native surnamed Wan told the Global Times after watching the trailer.

She said that she feels a responsibility to go support the film in cinemas. “I was working in Beijing while my hometown was experiencing the horrible epidemic, and now I want to know what happened at that time.”

On January 23, 2020, just two days before the Spring Festival, Wuhan was locked down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

After the lockdown, more than 30 local photographers in the city photographed and filmed the frontlines of the fight against epidemic over the following months, collecting thousands of hours of footage, which was later used as the foundation of the documentary.

The film focuses on the medical staff and patients in intensive care units at hospitals. It shows the touching stories that took place during the fight against the epidemic and people’s duel with death.

There is no narrator in the film as it aims to show the true truth, the Zhejiang Daily reported.

Another documentary named 76 Days, which focuses on the stories of death and birth in Wuhan during the 76-day lockdown, has also captured the attention of Chinese netizens after Variety listed it as a contender for the 93rd Academy Awards’ Best Documentary nomination.

“76 Days tells indelible human stories at the center of this pandemic – from a woman begging in vain to bid a final farewell to her father, a grandfather with dementia searching for his way home, a couple anxious to meet their newborn, to a nurse determined to return personal items to families of the deceased,” according to an official introduction to the film.

The film had its world premiere in September 2020 at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it got good reviews.

“A grounded, humane perspective on doctors, nurses and patients… 76 Days suggests a way to face the future, with tears but perhaps also hope,” said Nicolas Rapold of the New York Times. 

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Sponsor:Information Office of Shandong Provincial People’s Government