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The Last Cruise

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CAPTIVE In the HBO documentary short The Last Cruise, we witness the fate of Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that became site of the first and largest COVID-19 outbreak outside of China. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DEEP CUT AND HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Deep Cut And HBO Documentary Films
  • CAPTIVE In the HBO documentary short The Last Cruise, we witness the fate of Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that became site of the first and largest COVID-19 outbreak outside of China.

What's it rated? TV-14

When? 2021

Where's it showing? HBO Max

Now that vaccination numbers are up and death tolls are down, I felt OK to watch a documentary highlighting the scary beginning of the pandemic and the ill-fated cruise ship Diamond Princess. Featuring interviews with both cruise ship guests and workers, this short HBO original uses handheld camera footage from the ship as it became a petri dish for the unknown virus. Guests are soon on lockdown in their staterooms while the staff continues to work to bring them the food and supplies they need to make it through their mandated quarantine.

The film chronicles the days on board, and we hear the captain announce first the news of coronavirus around the world and then soon that the virus is indeed on the ship. To say the virus changed the way we travel is never clearer than when we see these couples and crew members succumbing one by one to the virus, being offloaded to the hospital if they test positive. We watch as the cloud of COVID-19 descends on the world and on the thousands of people trapped in a floating prison.

It's a unique look at the beginning of this nightmare and a reminder of all the things we didn't know just a year ago. It's a sobering journey but an interesting perspective that is kept to a manageable length. It serves to remind us all what an absolutely insane journey this worldwide health crisis and pandemic has been. (40 min.) Δ

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