top of page

THE FIRST WAVE 2021 (Available for streaming on HULU) This documentary is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. The movie spotlights the everyday heroes at the epicenter of COVID-19 as they come together to fight one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered. With exclusive access inside one of New York’s hardest hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the pandemic, award-winning Matthew Heineman directed, produced, shot and edited this documentary as healthcare workers risked their lives in a battle to keep the virus at bay. We see people struggle to breathe and we see people die. We see families speaking to their loved ones over FaceTime because they can’t be with them in the hospital and we also see doctors calling families, delivering the terrible news that their loved ones have died. This movie is about reality. It is about how bad it was before there was a vaccine. It is a powerful educational film but it is not an easy watch and I completely understand anyone’s decision to sit this one out. The Covid-19 virus claimed the lives of nearly 60,000 New Yorkers before the end of that horrible “first wave.” It’s practically impossible to fully appreciate the range of emotions experienced by those first responders: going to work day after day not knowing if their efforts were going to help their patients or if they were only prolonging the suffering of people who were destined to die. This is a difficult film to evaluate. Barbara and I usually evaluate films in which enjoyment plays an important role. So it was with trepidation that we put a grade on this troubling film. GRADE between C and B+

bottom of page