While the rest of the world was slowly waking up to the spread of COVID-19, activist and artist Ai Weiwei directed a team to film inside the hospitals, homes, and quarantine sites of Wuhan, the first city hit in the global pandemic. Today, he surprised the world with the release of his new documentary CORONATION.
Ai Weiwei’s CORONATION is the first feature-length documentary about the coronavirus in Wuhan. As the first city hit in the global pandemic, the Chinese metropolis with a population of 11 million was placed under an unprecedented lockdown.
The film showcases the incredible speed and power of China’s state machinery with its construction of massive coronavirus hospitals, deployment of roving sanitation-fogging robots, implementation of an exhaustive testing and contact-tracing protocol, and punctiliously engineered protective measures for health workers.
On the other side of the scale is the crushing bureaucracy of that same machine, its totalitarian decision-making, clear deception of ordinary citizens, the absence of civic communication, and perhaps, worst of all, a cold-eyed lack of empathy for those suffering loss and kept away from home.
Ai Weiwei paints a moving and revelatory portrait not just of China’s response to the pandemic but also of ordinary people in Wuhan, showing how they personally cope with the disaster.
100% of the Alamo Drafthouse’s share of revenue from rentals and purchases will be donated to the Alamo Family Fund which provides immediate financial assistance grants for furloughed Alamo employees during the Coronavirus shutdown.
Watch CORONATION right now via Alamo On Demand Virtual Cinema: