Netflix’s ‘Eye of the Storm’ takes the audience to 2003 Taiwan, where the outbreak of a deadly virus creates panic and fear in a hospital that is suddenly quarantined. Dr. Zheng Xia was on his way home after a grueling shift when he is called back to perform surgery. When he is done, he discovers that he cannot leave the hospital, along with a thousand other people. It turns out that a couple of patients there have been infected by the SARS virus, which means that anyone who came in contact with them could be a carrier.
As the infections grow, things get direr in the hospital, where the doctors and nurses get just as impatient as other people to get out of there. If you want to know more about the location and timeline of the movie, here’s what you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD
Where is Eye of the Storm Set?
The events in ‘Eye of the Storm’ take place in Taipei City Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. With the hospital being quarantined to contain the virus, the characters are restricted to one place, and we barely see any other location in the movie. It adds a claustrophobic air to the story, giving the audience the feeling of panic and fear, trapped in a place where they might get infected with a deadly virus and lose their lives.
The Taipei City Hospital and the series of events are inspired by the real events in Heping Hospital, now renamed Heping Fuyou Branch of Taipei City Hospital. The filming of the movie took place in two decommissioned hospitals from the early 2000s to recreate the look and working environment of twenty years ago. This brings authenticity to the scenes, elevating the feeling conveyed by the location and the actors.
While the story begins in Building A, a quick demarcation happens when the number of infected people increases, with all of them being sent to the B wing. The separation of locations also becomes a means to highlight the prejudice within the hospital staff where paranoia takes hold of them. Anyone suspected of having come in contact with an infected patient is asked to leave. With all the authority figures hiding away, the staff gives up on their duties and focus on survival.
When is Eye of the Storm Set?
The story in ‘Eye of the Storm’ begins on April 24, 2003. This is in reference to the date when the real events that inspired the film took place. The film captures the events over the next few days, focusing on certain people and their character development as the situation worsens inside the hospital. In real life, the quarantine extended to two weeks, with the final batch of quarantined people being escorted out on May 8, 2003.
While the film takes the audience two decades back in time, it focuses on the themes that are relevant even today. It centers on the 2003 SARS outbreak in Taiwan and focuses on the struggles of frontline workers who suddenly found themselves in a highly mismanaged situation. This is reminiscent of the Covid-19 pandemic, which pushed doctors, nurses, and other people in the medical field to exhaustion.
The movie focuses on the dedication, hard work, and commitment of the doctors and nurses who didn’t flee their posts and helped people, even if it meant getting infected and losing their own lives in the process. However, it also explains how such an immediate turn of events can take its toll on the best of us and kick in survival instincts, as happens with many characters in the movie.