Film Crew Documents Life in Wuhan Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

An aerial view of nearly-deserted roads on the first day of a citywide lockdown in Wuhan, Hubei province, Feb. 23, 2020. From @飞行的兰波 on Weibo

The film they had planned to shoot in Hubei was derailed by the coronavirus, so instead they’re creating a visual chronicle of a city under lockdown.

The streets are eerily empty. Buildings stand silent. There’s hardly any sign of life.

Such descriptions may evoke a post-apocalyptic cityscape, but they’re actually real scenes from Wuhan, a once-bustling transportation hub of 14 million people appears nearly deserted during the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

Filming the city at the center of the COVID-19 epidemic is a crew that found themselves stranded in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei province, when the city was placed under lockdown on Jan. 23 to contain the virus.


Following a halt in production and the lockdown of Wuhan due to the COVID-19 epidemic, a film crew stuck inside the city turned their cameras to the streets to create a documentary.


“They (my fellow crew members) are in Wuhan … They want to do something meaningful,” said Lan Bo, who went to Wuhan to direct a feature film but has shifted his focus to document daily life. “They want to record what happened.”

Lan told Sixth Tone that he and his team had to postpone their scheduled film project because of the epidemic. That’s when videographer Xie Dan started filming on his phone: The team put together a short film titled “Wuhan: The Long Night” and shared it online.

The haunting images of Wuhan attracted millions of views on microblogging platform Weibo, and the video’s popularity spurred Lan to expand it into a feature-length documentary. Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.