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Documentary to show life of SA frontline healthcare workers on Covid-19 battlefield

The documentary Zero to Zero, which focusses on life on the Covid-19 battlefield, was filmed at Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Pretoria. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

The documentary Zero to Zero, which focusses on life on the Covid-19 battlefield, was filmed at Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Pretoria. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 10, 2021


Pretoria - An in-depth glimpse of precisely how healthcare workers battle the Covid-19 pandemic and what they have to deal with will come to light when the documentary Zero to Zero hits screens next month.

The documentary will be broadcast exclusively on Dstv's M-Net channel on October 4, showing never seen before footage of frontline healthcare workers battling against the coronavirus.

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According to the M-Net channel, the hour-long documentary was filmed over 15 months and offered an unfiltered look at what it was like to be a healthcare worker during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Filmed at the Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Muckleneuk, Pretoria, the documentary looks at the story of healthcare workers from the moment the hospital admitted their first Covid-19 patient in June 2020.

The documentary was filmed by a frontline worker, radiologist and part-time filmmaker Professor Leonie Scholtz, who co-directed it with Christa Lategan and Shem Compion.

Director for M-Net channels, Jan du Plessis said what made the documentary special was that it was being told from the perspectives of those who had been battling the pandemic every day since it had begun.

“It humanises the frontline workers showing us a fraction of what they have had to face. It also puts faces to some of the Covid-19 statistics as there are interviews with former patients about their experiences at the hospital.

“It takes a look at patients’ families and the impact that this has had on them,” Du Plessis said.

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Detailing how the idea came about, Scholtz said when she realised the catastrophic events where no photographers were allowed, she felt obligated to document what was taking place, given the access she had.

However, she said going about the production was no easy feat, with a number of challenges as the team had no idea how the story would unfold.

“We dealt with people going through real life and death situations, so our focus remained on the human spirit. The constant changing narrative was immediately difficult but the personal journeys delivered a wonderful and authentic story,” added Lategan.

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The documentary doesn’t stop at just letting people tell their experience with footage from the ICU ward, but also features interviews with renowned South African clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim.

Through a statement, the channel said the film would inspire viewers to remember the strength of the human spirit.

“The filmmakers and healthcare workers are hoping to drive home another key message for people to protect themselves and the ones they love by wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping a safe distance, and getting vaccinated.””

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Pretoria News