Wuhan Wuhan Image

Wuhan Wuhan

By Kyle Bain | July 11, 2022

Wuhan Wuhan forces its viewers to think independently and consider all aspects of the virus, the crippling lockdowns, and how severe COVID-19 truly is. This is what allows the documentary to remain separate from all other documentaries I’ve seen before: the complete absence of an agenda. Regardless of subject matter, it’s often clear that the director of a documentary has chosen a side on the topic. Popular entries such as The Social Dilemma and Class Action Park, as wonderfully done as they are, push an agenda that is clear to its viewers from the opening moments. Here, Chang refuses to fall into this moralizing trap and creates something unique and enjoyable. Far beyond the topic of the coronavirus, the documentary teaches its viewers to think for themselves and be an individual.

Being socially relevant can play out well, regardless of the topic at hand. However, one of the issues with Wuhan Wuhan is the fact that it covers a topic that has been shoved down the throats of literally everyone (even though it’s relevant) for more than a year now. I want to escape from this reality, not be pulled further into it. The documentary arrives over a year after the majority of the world shut down, and, at this point, it feels like that majority wants to forget the tragedies that occurred over those sixteen (or so) months.

“…forces its viewers to think independently and consider all aspects…”

In some ways, it feels like the documentary is beating a dead horse, making some of what occurs throughout difficult to appreciate. The content itself is trying and worn out. Additionally, it becomes frustrating that during certain portions of the documentary, the focus shifts to Yin and Xu in a fashion unrelated to COVID-19. When the documentary focuses on the young couple, it becomes far less engaging and overly melodramatic, losing viewers’ interest in the process.

Wuhan Wuhan possesses some shortcomings, including the dramatic nature of Yin and Xu’s struggles and its played out subject. But there is so much to love as well. Audience members are pulled right into the center of everything taking place in China throughout lockdown, both the negatives and positives, specifically seeing how local hospitals dealt with the onslaught of the disease. In addition, the film has no agenda, allowing viewers to think freely and come to their own conclusions. I love the opportunity it provides as audiences are asked to think for themselves and not to believe everything the media is feeding them.

Wuhan Wuhan screened at the 2021 Hot Docs Film Festival and the 2021 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Wuhan Wuhan (2021)

Directed: Yung Chang


Starring: Yin, Xu, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Wuhan Wuhan Image

"…the world changed at a breakneck pace, altering the landscape of life as we know it forever."

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