“Wuhan Wuhan” on POV documents February and March 2020 where the coronavirus was first discovered – July 11 at 10 pm

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On July 11, 2022 POV Opens Its 35th Season With Gripping Documentary “Wuhan Wuhan”

The 35th anniversary season of POV, America’s longest running documentary series, opens with the heart rendering observational film Wuhan Wuhan, about the first wave of COVID-19, in the city where the mysterious virus was first discovered.

medical professional in protective gear looking out window in Wuhan
Frontline Worker at Window
Credit: Stars Collective Films Entertainment Group, Inc.

Directed by Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, This is Not a Movie), and produced by Diane Quon (Minding the Gap), Donna Gigliotti (Hidden Figures, Shakespeare in Love), and Peter Luo (Crazy Rich Asians, Marshall), the documentary goes beyond the statistics and salacious headlines to provide a human experience to the early months of the pandemic through the stories of frontline medical workers, patients, and ordinary citizens.

Wuhan Wuhan makes its national broadcast and streaming premiere on PBS television series POV, Monday, July 11, 2022 at 10pm  and is available to stream free through August 11, 2022 at, and the PBS Video app.

“We’re so pleased to have Wuhan Wuhan open our milestone 35th season,” said American Documentary | POV Executive Director Erika Dilday. She added, “This film is exceptional in terms of its unprecedented access and storytelling as well in support of our mission to uplift BIPOC creators and stories, particularly in the current wave of violence against the AAPI and Asian American communities.”

Old Man on Deserted Street in Wuhan during COVID
Old Man on Deserted Street
Credit: Stars Collective Films Entertainment Group, Inc.

During February and March 2020, two months into the city’s lockdown, hospital medical staff in Wuhan are scrambling for PPE, some using their own money to buy the necessary protective gear. Doctors and nurses write their names and pin pictures of themselves to their chests so their patients can recognize them. As the deadly coronavirus evolves, city residents and volunteers from other provinces provide necessary resources as Wuhan grapples with an invisible, deadly killer. Amidst the height of the pandemic, Chang and his crew have unprecedented access into firsthand accounts of local medical personnel and selfless volunteers—each with a unique perspective, to the crisis at hand.

Wuhan Wuhan focuses on five compelling stories: Dr. Xiannian Zheng, 35, a soft-hearted ER doctor and Susu, 34, an unflappable ICU nurse from the COVID-19 hospital; Dr. Guiqing Zhang, 55, a compassionate volunteer psychologist at a temporary hospital; Xiuli Liu, 41, a tenacious mother and her son Lai Lai, 9, who are COVID-19 patients navigating the PRC healthcare system; and Yin, 30, a volunteer driver for medical workers and his 9 month pregnant wife Xu, 23, whose heartfelt story forms the backbone of this film.

Line at Temporary Hospital in Wuhan during COVID
Temporary Hospital Closing
Credit: Stars Collective Films Entertainment Group, Inc.

Director Yung Chang remarked: “It’s a great honor to have Wuhan Wuhan open the 35th season of POV. I hope this film helps to set the tone for a season of remarkable films that epitomize compassion and empathy as we forge ahead with our endemic livelihoods. My first feature documentary, Up the Yangtze, was broadcast on POV just before the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, a time when there was much curiosity about a country in flux. At that time, I hoped to present a nuanced look into modernizing China. So it feels humbling to be able to return with a new film that seeks to present a point-of-view about China that tries to go beyond the monolith trope and offer a reflection of everyday individuals who experience the pandemic with pathos and humor, anger and pragmatism, fear and joy, much like we have in North America.”

Chris White, POV’s Executive Producer said, “There are so many things that divide us and make us different from each other – from generation, to religion, gender, race and geography — that it’s easy to lose sight of what unites us, our common humanity. Wuhan Wuhan reminds us that we all want to be safe, and loved, and that the most frightening challenges are best handled together.”