In the Same Breath



Nanfu Wang’s superb and frightening documentary, In the Same Breathis both personal and analytical. When Nanfu Wang, a U.S. resident, became aware the virus that started near her hometown of Wuhan was becoming pandemic, and hearing the misinformation being spouted by government officials, she contacted cinematographers in Wuhan to record the devastating illnesses and deaths caused by the virus. Much of the filming  had to be undercover and witnesses spoke anonymously fearing punishment by a deceitful government. Nanfu Wang was further shocked when she saw the same thing happening in the U.S. Despite freedom of the press, government officials were silencing health-care professionals and downplaying the severity of the pandemic. As New Yorker film critic Richard Brody wrote in his review, “Wang reveals, along with the medical crisis, another related danger: the temptation of people everywhere to embrace authoritarianism and its lies as a response to complex and terrifying realities.” 

Nanfu Wang (Narrator). Fearing imprisonment, most spoke anonymously.
Why Stream This Film?
What separates IN THE SAME BREATH from other documentaries about the Covid-19 pandemic is filmmaker Nanfu Wang’s deep understanding of China. Another component is  the way Nanfu Wang uncovers the deceit and lies in both China and the U.S. when the pandemic started. The Chinese government punished citizens for telling the truth;   in the United States, several politicians downplayed the virus as being no more than a bad case of the flu and health-care professionals were vilified for reporting the truth.  
  • SXSW Film Festival: Winner,  Festival Favorite
  • San Francisco International Film Festival: Nominated, Best Documentary Feature
  • Cleveland International Film Festival: Nominated, Best Film

Now streaming on:

IN THE SAME BREATH is an incisive exploration of how political narratives and public health collided in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, and still do.
Robert Daniels

IN THE SAME BREATH is a clear, razor-sharp look at the pandemic. If IN THE SAME BREATH – the title becomes more resonant with each new scene and shock – were simply about China and its handling (mishandling) of the pandemic, it would be exemplary. But the story she tells is larger and deeper than any one country because this is a story that envelops all of us, and it is devastating.
Manohla Dargis

The New York Times

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