In the Same Breath
Nanfu Wang’s superb and frightening documentary, In the Same Breath, is 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.”
Why Stream This Film?
SXSW Film Festival: Winner, Festival Favorite
San Francisco International Film Festival: Nominated, Best Documentary Feature
Cleveland International Film Festival: Nominated, Best Film
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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.
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.
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