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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > Finance > History > The People’s Republic Of Capitalism (2009/Ted Koppel/Discovery Channel/Athena Blu-ray Set)

The People’s Republic Of Capitalism (2009/Ted Koppel/Discovery Channel/Athena Blu-ray Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B



Ted 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.


Though he 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 throughout.


This is 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.


The 1080i 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


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