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The early moments of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China, are set to get the big-screen treatment in Wuhan!, Wuhan!, a feature documentary that has been set up as a U.S.-China co-production, with Hong Kong martial arts star Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Rogue One, Mulan) signed on as executive producer and Oscar winner Donna Gigliotti (Shakespeare in Love, Silver Linings Playbook) as a producer.
Co-directed by Chinese documentary filmmaker Gong Cheng (A Bite of China, Voice of the Earth) and award-winning documentarian Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, China Heavyweight), the film follows 36 hours in the life of disparate characters interwoven through the virus-blighted city of Wuhan.
Said the filmmakers in a statement: “Told through unprecedented access and intense, heart-wrenching cinéma vérité, this film is testament to the universality of peoples’ collective pandemic experience, demonstrating that no matter what country, no one is immune to disease and that people, as a human species, share the same humanity in our struggle to survive.”
The directors began shooting in Wuhan, along with a production team of approximately 30 people, in the early spring of this year, “capturing surreal footage” and attempting to tell the true stories of the front-line health workers who were battling the virus. The characters portrayed include a volunteer driver who gives free rides to the medical workers every day; a barber who volunteers to serve medical workers for free; a vlogger who delivers medicine to patients; a psychotherapist who offers patients psychological counseling; a medical waste disposal supervisor; a couple who keep their private clinic running; and the doctors from emergency rooms, who are trying to save patients’ lives.
Wuhan! Wuhan! is produced by Uni-Film, SA Inc., Starlight Media Inc. and Changsheng Film and Television. Starlight Media’s Peter Luo (Crazy Rich Asians, Midway) serves as a producer, as does Huan Li (Road of Millennium Bodhi, Changing China).
“The film will show how people fight, how they live and how they love when disaster strikes,” Luo said. “We believe that every audience will witness the faith and hope throughout Wuhan! Wuhan!“
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