New HBO doc ‘In the Same Breath’ shows how both China & the US have used authoritarianism and propaganda to contain Covid

Aug 22, 2021 | News

Despite the administrations in Beijing and Washington having very different world views, Nanfu Wang’s fascinating, but flawed, film shows that trusting the government – whether it be communist or democratic – is a fool’s errand.

‘In the Same Breath’, which is airing on HBO and HBO Max, chronicles the inept response and often deceptive practices of both the Chinese and US governments in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the power of propaganda to shape perception.

The documentary features some harrowing, horrifying footage from within Wuhan during the height of the Covid outbreak. Scenes of patients gasping for air and dying, and families struggling to decide whether their elderly mother should die in a hospital parking lot waiting for care that will never come or admit death’s inevitability back in the comfort of their apartment, are gut-wrenching.

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