a person lying on a bed© MTV Documentary Films

76 Days takes an impressively close look at the pandemic, chronicling the weeks when the novel and scary illness led to the lock down of Wuhan, China, the city where the coronavirus has originated.

Oscar Prospects

Oscar Voters may be impressed by the combination of journalistic and cinematic merits, especially when the subject matter hits so close to home.

Over the last 20 years the academy has awarded several nonfiction films about current social problems: gun violence (2002’s Bowling for Columbine) to climate change (2006’s An Inconvenient Truth), torture (2007’s Taxi to the Dark Side), the Great Recession (2010’s Inside Job) , US government surveillance of its citizens (2014’s Citizenfour).

In the last three years, four documentaries about social issues have been nominated, exploring the devastating civil war in Syria: 2017’s Last Men in Aleppo, 2018’s Of Fathers and Sons and 2019’s The Cave and For Sama.