This film is the first of its kind. Not the fact that it’s a documentary, the fact that it’s the first film about the COVID-19 epidemic. Filmmakers Hao Wu & Weixi Chen take their cameras to the Wuhan Province in China where this epidemic started. They specifically focus on five hospitals and their doctors and nurses as well as the first people affected by this debilitating disease.
The doctors and nurses at the various hospitals have their hands full dealing with patients, their family members, and people wanting to get in the hospitals to get checked out themselves. The hysteria involving this disease is real and everyone involved is feeling it in one way or another. This film pulls no punches, especially with how it depicts the patients the nurses and doctors have to treat.
The doctors and nurses try to do the best they can with dealing with this illness. At the time they didn’t know what it would become even though the government had curfews and so forth. We know a lot about this epidemic now that we didn’t know at the beginning. You can’t blame those who were doing their best to try to treat these people.
The title refers to the fact that this area was on lockdown for 76 days. This was and is a real problem. The stories depicted in the film involve an old fisherman, a couple who are separated into different wings for men and women, and a mother who gives birth while being treated for the disease. These people’s stories bring this film home in the end. Some of them make it and some don’t. That’s the reality of this situation.
Even though these frontline workers are indistinguishable from one another, they show they are there to do a job. They work very long hours keeping them from their own families. When you sign up for the life of a doctor or a nurse, you have to embrace the fact that it’s a calling. You do it for the responsibility that comes with the job. These men and women deserve a round of applause. They are the heroes in all of this even in a communist country like China.
76 Days was an eye-opening look at the beginning of this debilitating disease. The filmmakers really got inside of what goes on in these hospitals. How these men and women worked hard to help all of these patients. It was not an easy task they had. I for one would not want to be in their shoes. The sad fact of this film is that not everyone lives. That’s the cost of something hard to fight and understand.
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment media