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’76 Days’ review: An emotional look at the earliest days of a global crisis

The Wuhan lockdown set a template for other countries to follow.

There is no doubting Covid-19 has been the biggest story of the year. As new ghastly records are set each day, people around the world if things can ever get back to a semblance of normalcy. 76 Days is a documentary that attempts to cover the Covid outbreak in Wuhan. The Chinese city made the controversial decision to go into lockdown in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

The documentary follows the healthcare workers that are on the frontline. It is frightening to see the doctors and nurses try to reassure patients. 76 Days is not about making any political statements (a strong argument can be made this is its biggest fault). Even then, it is not hard to watch the harrowing scenes and not think of modern day America.

Many will say that political grandstanding become more important than human lives along the way. 76 Days also focuses on the emotional toll of Covid-19. The documentary tells many stories. The focus is one the people in the documentary. Each one is a painful reminder that some things should not be colored with a coat of red or blue.

76 Days is an exhausting watch. The directors (of the three, one chose to remain anonymous) capture the staff and patients in some of their most vulnerable moments. They health care workers sleep on benches and look ready to collapse from exhaustion at any moment. The patients and their families are a mixture of panic or patience. 

'76 Days' review: An emotional look at the earliest days of a global crisis

The documentary is filled with moments that tug at the heartstrings. There is the joy of new life and the sadness of death. The film even manages to fit in moments of laughter. Watching is an unexpected emotional roller coaster. A chaotic atmosphere also surrounds the film. 76 Days shows the staff at work up against seemingly insurmountable odds. The events that unfold are filled with emotion, but the overriding is feeling is one of disarray and panic. There is none of the melodrama that is normally seen in these types of documentaries. 

The coronavirus has dominated headlines around the world for the majority of this year. Surprisingly, there is still very little known about the origins of the virus. 76 Days looks at the earliest days of the pandemic. The documentary is a gut wrenching look at a country in lockdown and the people who are trying to cope with the beginnings of a global crisis.

76 Days launces in virtual cinemas on December 4.

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