Watch COVID-19 City Life at a Distance in ‘60 Day Cycle’

By Pat Mullen

Will life return to normal anytime soon? I briefly returned to Toronto last week to attend to a few housekeeping matters in the office, and I found it eerie to be back in the city after two months in cottage country. I really didn’t miss the empty subways and vacant buildings. (Although the streets were now a bit too crowded for comfort.)

It is interesting, though, to see how cities adapt to COVID-19 and how the virus changes our collective way of life. A new NFB digi-doc 60 Day Cycle, for example, captures two months of city life in Vancouver under lockdown. Directed by Colin Jones and Darcy Wittenburg, the doc follows one cyclist as he navigates the empty streets of Vancouver and observes residents retreating into quarantine, staying isolated to protect themselves and their neighbours, and eventually emerging into the light as restrictions ease.

I’m still not sure what level of comfort I’ll have in the busy city, or what “normal” life will be like if and when it returns. But for now, I’m just glad there are filmmakers out there documenting these surreal images of city life for us to see from a distance.

Watch 60 Day Cycle below. The doc is the first project in the NFB series The Curve, which sees 40 Canadian artists take creative approaches to life under COVID as Canadians flatten, plank, and/or crush the curve in their own creative and socially distant ways. Stay tuned for more!