HBO Documentary IN THE SAME BREATH Debuts August 18. From Award-Winning Filmmaker Nanfu Wang.

HBO Documentary IN THE SAME BREATH Debuts August 18. From Award-Winning Filmmaker Nanfu Wang.

HBO’s IN THE SAME BREATH, directed by award-winning filmmaker Nanfu Wang (“One Child Nation”) debuts WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18 (9:00–10:40 p.m. ET/PT). The documentary will debut on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

Synopsis: IN THE SAME BREATH recounts the experiences of people on the ground in the earliest days of the novel coronavirus and the way two countries dealt with its initial spread, from the first days of the outbreak in Wuhan to its rampage across the United States. Directed with a deeply personal approach by Wang, who was born in China and now lives in the United States, the film explores the early confusion and parallel campaigns by authorities to try to contain the virus as well as shape the public narrative through misinformation, resulting in a devastating impact on citizens of both countries.

Filmmaker Wang celebrates the Chinese New Year in her hometown about 200 miles outside Wuhan and then returns to the United States just as the first news reports about a dangerous new coronavirus start to surface. Working from the U.S., Wang’s  adoptive country, she hears troubling reports coming out of the region via social media and tasks local videographers in Wuhan to capture the early days of the virus’s effects on the ground. Wang records wrenching audio testimonials from family members in China who have lost loved ones and she profiles several families in Wuhan struggling to come to terms with how quickly the virus took hold of their city and buckled an unprepared and overwhelmed health care system – foreshadowing what was soon to come in the U.S.

With emotional first-hand accounts from medical professionals, patients, and grieving family members, and startling, on-the-ground footage from both Wuhan and the U.S., IN THE SAME BREATH is a revelatory illustration of the devastating toll that resulted from official missteps at containment of the infection and the widespread phenomenon of social media misinformation, while also highlighting the strength and resilience of the people who risked everything to communicate the truth.

The critically acclaimed documentary celebrated its world premiere as the Opening Night film (Premieres) at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to play and win awards at multiple prestigious festivals including SXSW (winner of the Audience Award), Hot Docs Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Full Frame, Opening Night of MoMA Doc Fortnight and many more.

About Nanfu Wang: 2020 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Nanfu Wang is an award-winning Chinese filmmaker based in the U.S. Her feature documentaries include the winner of the IDA Emerging Filmmaker Award “Hooligan Sparrow”, SXSW Special Jury Prize winner “I Am Another You,” and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “One Child Nation.” Wang is celebrated for her fearless, bold storytelling. She has received four Emmy® nominations, has been twice Academy Award shortlisted, and is a recipient of the Independent Spirit Award, the Peabody Award, the George Polk Award, Cinema Eye Honor awards, and an IDA award.

Credits: HBO Documentary Films’ presents IN THE SAME BREATH a Motto Pictures, Little Horse Crossing The River & Little Lantern Company production.  Produced and directed by Nanfu Wang; produced by Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn. For HBO: senior producer, Sara Rodriguez; executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.