A Year After Severe Wuhan Outbreak, China Promotes Propaganda Film Praising Authorities

January 18, 2021 Updated: January 19, 2021

News Analysis

Roughly a year after the CCP virus spread across China, the Chinese regime recently began a propaganda blitz to portray the outbreak in Wuhan—ground zero of the epidemic—as a story of triumph over adversity.

A joint production between state-run and private media companies, the movie “Days and Nights in Wuhan” was created under the direction of the Zhejiang Province film bureau, and will be screened in cinemas across the country on Jan. 22.

Chinese media reports say the film will deliver “positive energy” about the outbreak, featuring segments about government officials visiting patients, medical staff on the front lines of the outbreak, and people expressing thanks to local officials.

The film’s director, Cao Jinling, told state broadcaster CCTV in a Jan. 12 interview that she wanted to show how people “resign themselves to adversity,” and how important it was to “not complain about anything but just accept what’s happened and try to survive.”

Epoch Times Photo
Screenshot of the trailer for the film, “Days and Nights in Wuhan.” (Screenshot/YouTube)

The film doesn’t take on how authorities covered up the initial outbreak—only confirming the existence of an outbreak at a time when online posts from whistleblower doctors were going viral, nor does it explore whether Wuhan authorities’ response was sufficient to contain the outbreak.

The Epoch Times has previously reported that early in 2020, local hospitals were overwhelmed as they turned away COVID-19 patients in need of treatment, medical staff ran out of medical supplies, and funeral homes were inundated with dead bodies.

While the movie seeks to portray positive stories, several scenes demonstrate the harsh reality of living amid the pandemic.

For example, one male patient in his 70s who survived COVID-19 was only able to communicate with his grandson through audio messages.

Epoch Times Photo
An elderly COVID-19 patient listens to a voice recording from his grandson in Wuhan, China, in early 2020. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Another scene involves a young woman whose mother died of COVID-19. The woman wasn’t able to visit her mother in the hospital during the treatment. After her mother’s death, when the woman went to the hospital to pick up her mother’s cremated ashes, a nurse returned a jade bracelet that was one of the few reminders of her loved one.

The woman’s grandfather also contracted COVID-19. When she asked the nurse about her grandfather’s condition, the nurse was so overwhelmed with emotion that she didn’t reply.

Epoch Times Photo
A nurse meets with a young woman whose mother died of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in early 2020. (Screenshot/YouTube)

The Chinese regime also is promoting other propaganda efforts to people, such as an art exhibition at the China National Museum about “the fight against COVID-19.” It opened to the public on Aug. 1, 2020.

According to the museum’s website, the exhibit encompasses about 200 art pieces, including paintings, sculptures, and calligraphy, that represent “the great spirit of fighting the epidemic.” It also demonstrates that the central government led by Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping helped the Chinese people to defeat the virus.

In Wuhan, the Revolutionary Museum presented a series of sculptures made of wheat and rice flour—a traditional Chinese technique. The sculptures represent how authorities “fought the epidemic.”

Epoch Times Photo
Chen Wei (L), a Chinese army general who led a team working on developing a COVID-19 vaccine, salutes after she received an award from Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the end of a ceremony to honor people who fought against the pandemic, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Sept. 8, 2020. (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, authorities continue to censor information about the virus outbreak as several regions of the country are experiencing a resurgence.

The keywords “Wuhan Anniversary” are banned online.

Recently, several Chinese netizens were fined and detained after they posted pandemic-related information on social media that doesn’t align with the official narrative of successful containment.