The coronavirus outbreak in China has dominated news headlines over the last month, but few reports have provided the kind of eye-opening, on-the-ground perspective that this newly released viral video does below. The footage comes from a film crew that had been working on a movie in Wuhan, the capital city of China’s Hubei province. The coronavirus originated in Wuhan and forced a lockdown in the city on January 23 in an attempt to contain the virus. The film crew was left stranded in Wuhan as a result. With a forced break in production, the crew turned their cameras to the streets of Wuhan to document the effect of the coronavirus on the city. The result is a chilling montage film in which a city of 14 million people appears all but abandoned (click here to watch the video).
Film director Lan Bo told Sixth Tone, “My fellow crew members are in Wuhan and wanted to do something meaningful. They want to record what happened. First, since the lockdown, there hasn’t been a video presenting such a panoramic view [of the city]. And second, I feel that these are going to be valuable images for historical reference and for other documentaries.”
Lan worked with videographer Xie Dan and other members of his film crew to record footage from around Wuhan using their cell phones. The footage was cut together into a four-and-a-half minute short film titled “Wuhan: The Long Night.” The video found its way onto China’s social media platform Weibo and has gone viral with millions of views and counting. The popularity of the short has given Lan the idea to expand the footage into a feature-length documentary.
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According to CNN, the coronavirus has killed more than 2,000 people worldwide, with all but six of the deaths happening in mainland China. The majority of the 75,000 global cases of coronavirus are in China. The outbreak has shut down the nation’s movie theaters and film industry, which has major Hollywood studios on edge as China is the world’s second biggest film market. The China premiere of the upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die” has already been scrapped, while China-set productions from renowned directors like Wong Kar-wai are being put on hold indefinitely as the country attempts to contain the virus.