The People’s Republic Of Capitalism (2009/Ted Koppel/Discovery Channel/Athena Blu-ray
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes: B
Koppel is one of the best journalists around and when you see a documentary
mini-series like The People’s Republic
Of Capitalism, you realize he is one of the best in TV history and still
underrated to this day. In an amusing,
unintended counterpoint to Michael Moore’s recent Capitalism: A Love Story (2009, reviewed elsewhere on this site),
this four-part, 176 minutes-long work shows how communism failed in China and
how Capitalism is what is now holding it together.
never gets into the possibilities of economic collapse and/or the current
Chinese Government itself declining, collapsing or otherwise, he does get some
amazing interviews, footage and presents some amazing documentation of the
highly untold story in detail of how China
and the U.S.
are more connected than ever. Chongqing is one of the big focuses as that is a city that
is becoming China’s second Hong Kong, while we learn of the various cycles of
production, profit, cheap labor and expensive items fueling this connection
must-see viewing for anyone who wants to get a better idea of how the world is
now working and could even help people understand the economy to the extent
that an informed public could help people cope with the period we are now in,
often dubbed The Great Recession. The
Discovery Channel first showed this and I can see why this is one of the first
documentary mini-series on Blu-ray. It
is rich, informative and highly recommended.
1.78 X 1 digital High definition image has a mix of low-def analog and digital
video to go with its newly shot HD video and some film footage is thrown in for
good measure. That makes it more like
your typical documentary feature, but it is well edited and you see footage you
may never see again. The Dolby Digital
5.1 mix is a mix of monophonic and location sounds with good stereo voiceover
work by Koppel and good stereo audio.
The combination is what we expected for such a production. Extras include a 20-page viewer’s guide booklet,
access to exclusive web extras and exclusive HD interview with Koppel in Dolby
2.0 Stereo only.
- Nicholas Sheffo