THE FIRST WAVE
Matthew Heineman’s timely documentary follows a group of New York nurses, doctors, and patients on the frontlines as they navigate the unfolding COVID-19 health crisis.
THE FIRST WAVE takes viewers directly inside the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, one of hardest-hit hospitals at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. With unrestricted access, Academy Award-nominated director Matthew Heineman (CARTEL LAND, CITY OF GHOSTS), provides a firsthand account of the first four months as the devastating “first wave” of COVID-19 arrives in New York. With poignancy and intimacy, the film unflinchingly bears witness to the rarely-seen reality of a hospital overwhelmed by COVID and the healthcare workers who risk their lives to keep the virus at bay. Crafting a character-driven vérité approach, Heineman illustrates the emotional and psychological toll on the medical professionals, the patients fighting for their lives, and the families waiting and hoping for them to come home. What begins as a firsthand account of a once-in-a-century pandemic that engulfs the world overnight evolves into a testament of resilience and the undeniable power of the human spirit.
In Competition: Documentary Feature
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