If there was a counter to put a number on how many lives we lost this year. Only if there was a way to see our loved ones for one last time. To bid them farewell in peace, if at all their departing, was a dictatum of the God. To save them otherwise and to feel alive with them. Let me take you through “In The Same Breath.”
What these last 1 year and 8 months have done is that they have made us appreciate living. To see not only the people struggling everywhere in the world but to see one’s next of kin fall prey to one of the worst pandemics the world has ever witnessed.
How did it all Begin? Where did it all begin? Did the Authorities know? Could it have been Prevented? In retrospect, all of us commoners, statisticians and epidemiologists alike have spent lockdown wondering about these same questions. Today we answer all those questions through the heart-wrenching documentary In The Same Breath.
The Journey Through an Agonising 20 Months
This documentary is an attempt to hold the governments accountable for the mismanagement. The New Years eve of 2020 was the last normal day spent by almost 4.4 million people. These are the number of people who have perished due to Covid 19. After that, reports had started coming in about a deadly virus infecting the world. What started in Wuhan and spread all across the world is not just the virus but also an attitude of negligence in the Governments.
The Governments Are Responsible
With the Virus at large and thousands of cases being reported, surely the doctors had seen something. As a state of alarm and fear spread across the medical fraternity, the governments across the world stayed complacent.
Rather than making attempts to control the spread of this deadly disease by taking safety precautions, all the leaders across the globe stayed in denial of the existence of an imminent threat. The Chinese and American Government officials were busy justifying that the virus was not a big deal while the virus was tearing open the shortcomings of their healthcare system. Ironically the first reports of the virus were about people spreading the “rumour of the pandemic” getting arrested.
Media Is an Equal Culprit
With the Doctors reporting hazards, the media continued to guide the citizens, and that is one of the main reasons the pandemic spread. There are instances in the movie reflecting this when the Chinese media was broadcasting headlines like “everything is under control”.
The Dearth of Healthcare
Covid 19 exposed the broken backbone of our healthcare system. We saw that the facilities were never enough and lives were lost every day, healthcare workers were overworked, mistreated and beaten. The saddest part was that the Governments did not let the doctors inform the citizens of the dangers awaiting all of us. Any doctor who tried to raise a voice was hushed.
Too Little Too Late
With the horrifying months, we all have witnessed, it is crystal clear that there was surely a way to avoid all of this. The loss of lives, the suffering, the pain and the helplessness we all felt only if the authorities could have handled it correctly. Incidences like these remind us of the real worth of human life for our political system. The governments did wake up from their dreams of denial to act on the alarming situation, but I am afraid that it was too late.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
An activist/director who speaks her mind, Nanfu Wang has been felicitated for almost all her works. Starting from her debut film, Hooligan Sparrow received an Academy Award for Best Documentary. The second and third films too received two Jury awards and Grand Jury prize respectively.
Wang herself belongs to a small village; she has witnessed the grassroots level of all issues that exist within our society. She has done great work in articulating the views of the poor, and their struggles to the world through cinema. Her first venture, ‘Hooligan sparrow,’ was about sexual harassment influenced by the discrimination towards women education and the plight of sex workers she saw in her own village.
That’s how she entered the activism world, making her a scapegoat of the government authorities. But she went on producing documentaries like ‘One Child Nation’ and now ‘In The Same Breath. This time she chose a topic that is concerned by the whole nation.
Coronavirus, she takes on the challenge of highlighting the mismanagement of the Chinese government in an attempt to cover up the onset of the virus in Wuhan and how it later ends up becoming a pandemic, a tragedy for the whole globe.
Mark The Date!!!
The documentary, initially released on 28 January 2021, is now streaming on August 18, 2021, with a runtime of 1hour 40min.7.7/10 IMDb rating and 95 per cent reviews praising it over Rotten Tomatoes.
The documentary ended up becoming a nominee for the dox: award, best international film and golden gate award. Winning audience award at SXSW film festival.
The documentary has very loudly stated that political structure is as much of a disease as Covid is and is, in fact, deadlier in the long run.
So are you excited to watch this documentary? If you are, then I am sure you will love other documentaries as well like ““Homeroom“, “Val“, and “The Viewing Booth“. If you have any thoughts in your mind, don’t stop it. Just put them down in the comment section.