“Somewhere there is a light at the end of this tunnel. We have to believe it. Let’s hope for the dawn to break.” Those are the words uttered by Dr Yanila Nyasulu, specialist physician and a central figure in the riveting new documentary Zero to Zero, which will broadcast exclusively on DStv Premium on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on 4 October at 20:30.
Filmed over 15 months, the gripping one-hour doc offers an unfiltered look at what it’s like to be a healthcare worker in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows the staff of Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital (ZAH), a 100-year-old, private, non-profit hospital in Muckleneuk, Pretoria, from the moment they admit their first Covid-19 patient in June 2020.
What makes Zero to Zero especially stand out is that it’s filmed by a frontline worker at the hospital, radiologist and part time filmmaker Prof Leonie Scholtz. She co-directed the film with Christa Lategan and Shem Compion. “Zero to Zero is told from the perspectives of those who have been battling this pandemic daily since it began. It humanises the frontline workers, showing us a fraction of what they have had to face,” says Jan du Plessis, Director for M-Net Channels. “It also puts faces to some of the Covid-19 stats – there are interviews with former patients about their experiences at the hospital, as well as with their families about the impact that this has had on them,” du Plessis concludes.
About why she began filming the hospital’s fight against Covid-19, Prof Leonie Scholtz says in the documentary: “When the pandemic started, I immediately realised that this is one catastrophic event where no photographers were allowed. Being a photographer myself, and also having access to the inner sanctum of the frontline, I felt obliged to document it.”