EXCLUSIVE: A year on from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Director Hao Wu is opening up about the emotional toll of making his Oscar-contending documentary 76 Days. The feature from MTV Documentary Films goes inside hospitals in Wuhan, China in the early days of the outbreak as medical workers tended to desperately ill and frightened patients.
“Even now when I watch the film I will still be moved to tears,” Hao admits in the video. “I feel like there is just so much raw and naked emotion about our desire to want to connect with each other, even in the direst situations.”
Hao was traveling in Shanghai when Wuhan went into lockdown a year ago. He could not get into the coronavirus-besieged city, so he returned to his home base in New York and arranged with filmmaking collaborators, including Weixi Chen, to document what was happening on the frontlines. Together, they made a harrowing vérité film that reveals nurses and doctors responding to the crisis with care and compassion.
Staff blew up hospital gloves into balloons, tying them to the beds of patients to give the sick a little sense of comfort. They personalized their PPE suits with drawings and phrases, underscoring a sense of solidarity with each other.
Hao notes, “I feel like my team and I, we did a good job to tell the people the human suffering, the human kindness and the hope that can still exist in the pandemic.”
The video contains scenes from 76 Days, plus footage not seen in the documentary. Watch it above.
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