More than one year since the world’s sudden screeching to an unsteady halt by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nanfu Wang’s In The Same Breath delves deep into the earliest days of the coronavirus’ spread. Beginning the story where the virus was first discovered — in Wuhan, China — the first half of the film juxtaposes on-the-ground footage of struggling, censored frontline workers with stark public displays of purportedly-reassuring propaganda to illustrate a sharp image of failed leadership. Shifting to the United States in the second half, the outlook remains bleak, as similar scripts of misinformation are thickly laid over the face of crippling mismanagement. In The Same Breath hopes to ruminate on the collective trauma that the COVID-19 pandemic has incited, while permitting displays of human hope and resiliency to emerge and grow.
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About the filmmaker: Nanfu Wang is a Chinese American filmmaker. Her debut film Hooligan Sparrow premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2017. Her second film, I Am Another You, premiered at SXSW Film Festival in 2017 and won two special jury awards, and her third film, One Child Nation, won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Wang is the recipient of a 2021 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Filmmaking, from the Vilcek Foundation.