On Friday, April 22, The Guardian revealed a six-minute video clip that is swamping Mainland China’s social media, although Chinese authorities have tried their best to censor it.

The video called The Voices of April, or in Chinese, features a collection of real audio clips from conversations recorded in Shanghai throughout April, showing the locals’ frustration with what they’ve been through during Shanghai’s contested prolonged lockdowns.

Under Shanghai’s black and white-themed skyline, the narrative starts with the early days of Shanghai when the authorities promised that no lockdown would be imposed. Rolling over throughout April is a series of audio snippets that compiled people’s distressing stories during the lockdown that has lasted for almost a month.

Going along the video, the viewers can hear the voices of the most common Shanghainese, from residents, delivery drivers, community workers, parents, and children to Covid patients, pet owners, and volunteers, among others.

It is the story of an ongoing food shortage crisis, parents and children being separated in quarantine sites, inaccessible healthcare and medical emergencies, centralized isolation sites with poor quality, and pet owners crying for their dogs being beaten to death by pandemic-control personnel.

The short documentary ends with a resounding message, or in English, “Shanghai, get better soon.”

The video was quickly censored after going online. But this time, Chinese netizens outwit the authority’s internet control with roundabout ways. For example, users embed a QR code to a movie poster which provides the download link. Others would provide links directing people to cloud services to get it.

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