Briton films rare COVID-19 documentary showing ordinary Chinese people under ...

A British expat who stayed in China during the coronavirus pandemic has documented how ordinary people coped with the country's draconian lockdown and high-tech surveillance.

Yu Kung, a former London advertising executive, used his camera to record his neighbours dealing with unprecedented life changes after the killer infection erupted in the Far East.

One of them is a front-line doctor who had to send her family away to prevent them from getting infected. Another family run a dress studio, and they lost all customers overnight.

The 50-minute film zooms in on the emotional, economic and psychological impact the pandemic brought on the faceless millions – something you don't see on China's state-controlled news.

Yu Kung (pictured), who grew up in Horley, Surrey, has offered the Western audience with an intimate insight into the struggle of everyday folks in Shanghai during the coronavirus crisis

Yu Kung (pictured), who grew up in Horley, Surrey, has offered the Western audience with an intimate insight into the struggle of everyday folks in Shanghai during the coronavirus crisis

Yan Ye, or Jasmine, wears personal protective equipment while at work in a Shanghai hospital. Jasmine is a front-line medical worker and had to send her husband and young son away from Shanghai to avoid passing the deadly disease to them should she catch it from her patients

Yan Ye, or Jasmine, wears personal protective equipment while at work in a Shanghai hospital. Jasmine is a front-line medical worker and had to send her husband and young son away from Shanghai to avoid passing the deadly disease to them should she catch it from her patients

Yu's neighbour Xiaolin Yu learns to cut hair for his mother Yutang during the crisis. Yu and his family run a wedding dress studio and had no customers for seven weeks due to the lockdown

Yu's neighbour Xiaolin Yu learns to cut hair for his mother Yutang during the crisis. Yu and his family run a dress studio and had no customers for seven weeks due to the lockdown 

Yu, 48, was born in Hong Kong but moved with his family to Horley in Surrey when he was five.

He says he was hoping to explore the 'symptoms' of the COVID-19 lockdown being felt by everyday folks in Shanghai, where he has lived for the past 10 years.

He and his Chinese wife Crystal Liu, a writer and producer, decided to make a film after the deadly disease had brought the couple's work to a halt.

'We put a notice up in the building's lift asking our neighbours if they would like to get involved with our film project,' the couple told MailOnline.

And to their surprise, many people replied and were keen to share their stories.

The building's cleaner sprays bleach at lift buttons to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The husband and wife cleaners, Wenling Cao and Quanli Chen, are migrant workers in Shanghai

The building's cleaner sprays bleach at lift buttons to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The husband and wife cleaners, Wenling Cao and Quanli Chen, are migrant workers in Shanghai

A street in Shanghai is left deserted during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in China

A street in Shanghai is left deserted during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in China

Their film also features a naughty schoolboy who thought the lockdown was the best thing in the world because all he needed to do was to 'stay at home and sleep'.

The building's live-in cleaner couple had to work overtime to bleach every corner to stop the spread of the virus.

Also, an American kindergarten teacher whose class got shut down due to flu-like cases was struggling to work from home. At the same time, a lawyer had to become a stay-at-home dad after his civil servant wife had been sent to inspect inbound travellers to prevent 'imported cases'.

Conducting any independent filming in China is never easy due to the nation's authoritarian media censorship policy.

'We had been through nearly three weeks of isolation before we had the idea for the film. Filming only began after we sought permission from the building management and the Residents' Association representative,' the duo explained. 'They were very supportive of the project.' 

He and his Chinese wife Crystal Liu (pictured together) decided to make a film about the lockdown life of their building after the deadly disease had brought the couple's work to a halt

He and his Chinese wife Crystal Liu (pictured together) decided to make a film about the lockdown life of their building after the deadly disease had brought the couple's work to a halt

Their tower block in Shanghai has 110 families. 'All the residents in our building had been in isolation for weeks. The security staff did not allow any visitors into the compound,' they said

Their tower block in Shanghai has 110 families. 'All the residents in our building had been in isolation for weeks. The security staff did not allow any visitors into the compound,' they said

Since the deadly disease of COVID-19 emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, it has swept across the world and killed more than 338,000 people globally. 

When the epidemic started to accelerate in January, the Chinese government took what was deemed as the unthinkable and drastic steps at the time: to seal off the epicentre Wuhan from the world and order residents in other parts of the country to stay at home.

Although Shanghai is a four-hour train ride from

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Travel firms are ALREADY planning to exploit Dublin loophole in 14-day ...
NEXT Workiva: 1Q Earnings Snapshot