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The Founding of a Republic(2009)
Historical epic that chronicles the Chinese civil war from 1945 to 1949, during which the Chinese Communist Party overthrew the rule of Kuomintang and eventually established the PRC.
For more about The Founding of a Republic and the The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray release, see The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on September 11, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jet Li, Stephen Chow, Ziyi Zhang (Zhang Ziyi), Tony Leung Ka-fai, Andy Lau
Directors: Huang Jianxin, Han Sanping
» See full cast & crew
The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, September 11, 2011
Han Sanping and Huang Jianxin's "The Founding of a Republic" (2009) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Metrodome Video. Unfortunately, there are no supplemental features offered with this release. In Mandarin, with imposed English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Han Sanping and Huang Jianxin's The Founding of a Republic is a film about half-truths, a lavish piece of red propaganda created to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party founding of China. It is also a film that most Western viewers will have a very difficult time following given the endless citations of names, locations and events that led to Mao Zedong's rise to power.
The Founding of a Republic opens up with Mao's (Tang Guoqiang) arrival in Chongqing from Yan'an where he is greeted by Chiang Kai-shek (Zhang Guoli), chairman of the Nationalist Government of China. In front of an enthusiastic group of reporters, the two men shake hands and promise to find common ground and common-sense solutions in order to bring peace to China.
Meanwhile, it becomes obvious that the Nationalist Government would have a difficult time relocating the capital back to Nanjing because Mao's supporters have launched a series of attacks south of the Yangtze River, the most serious ones being in and around Shanghai and Hangzhou. Together with Zhang Lan (Wang Bing), President of the China Democratic League, Mao approaches Kai-shek to discuss the possibility of unifying all parties in a coalition government that would guarantee peace and stability in the region. On October 10, 1945, a peace agreement, known as The Double Tenth Agreement, is signed.
The United States immediately reconfirms its support for the Nationalist Government, but urges Kai-shek to consider broadening its base to include other political elements in the country. Shortly after that, the Soviet Union declares that it will not recognize a future coalition government. Meanwhile, negotiations begin but many prominent members of Kai-shek's party openly refuse to support a coalition government with Mao's men playing a key role in it.
In 1946, almost a month after the Nationalist Government is relocated to Nanjing, The Double Tenth Agreement is officially rejected and the war resumes. The rest of The Founding of a Republic focuses on specific tactical and diplomatic moves that led to the establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, the selection of its national flag, the renaming of Beiping (to Beijing) and its selection as a state capital, the approval of the national anthem, and Mao's election as Chairman of the Central People's Government.
It is impossible to take seriously The Founding of a Republic given its blatant misinterpretation of well documented historic facts and disturbing depiction of Mao as a passionate proponent of peace and democracy. Many of the complex negotiations between Mao and Kai-shek, for example, present the late communist leader as a great tactician and a man who was always a few steps ahead of everyone else, including his closest allies, and his opponent as a deeply disturbed man torn between supporting his party and the country he loved.
As expected, the film also completely ignores the mass executions Mao's men committed under his guidance once they began gaining control in territories previously controlled by the Nationalist Government. Instead, occasionally there is a small text card that pops up on the screen announcing that such and such Nationalist agent has been captured and tried in court.
The U.S. and U.S.S.R involvement in the conflict is also barely mentioned. Aside from a few statements produced by Patrick Jay Hurley, U.S. Ambassador to China, and Joseph Stalin, the rest of the film practically ignores the two superpowers and their respectable positions on a number of key issues.
The Founding of a Republic boasts an impressive cast. But the presence of Jet Li, Andy Lau, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Zhang Ziyi, Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow, Lai Leon and Li Bin in the film is more symbolic than it is significant.
The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.30:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Han Sanping and Huang Jianxin's The Founding of a Republic arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Metrodome Video.
The high-definition transfer Metrodome Video have used for their Blu-ray release of The Founding of a Republic has been struck from the same master Hong Kong-based distributor MegaStar had access to when they prepared their local Blu-ray release. Naturally, detail and clarity are again rather impressive, especially during the daylight scenes, while color reproduction ranks amongst the best I've seen on recent releases from the UK. Edge-enhancement is never an issue of concern. Some of the CGI effects have a tendency to add a bit of harshness to the image, but overall sharpness and detail coexist in near perfect harmony. Compression appears to be slightly better on the MegaStar Blu-ray, but the difference is indeed extremely small. Lastly, aliasing and ringing patterns do not plague the high-definition transfer. (Note: The disc's main menu is encoded in 1080/50i. Therefore, you will not be able to play it on Region-A PS3s and 98% of standard Region-A machines).
The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For the record, Metrodome Video have provided imposed (they cannot be turned off) English subtitles for the main feature. They appear inside the image frame.
The Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track serves the film very well. The sporadic battle scenes, for instance, are very intense, though do not expect them to test the muscles of your audio system. The dialog is consistently crisp, stable, and easy to follow. Also, there are no problematic pops, cracks, or audio dropouts. Finally, the English translation is very good.
The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Most unfortunately, there are no supplemental features to be found on this Blu-ray disc.
The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
My opinion remains unchanged - The Founding or a Republic is a lavish piece of communist propaganda that is likely to impress only those who don't mind being fed half-truths and believe that there is nothing in common between Mao, Hitler, and Stalin. I was hoping that the rather long documentary film from MegaStar's Blu-ray release of The Founding of a Republic would be included on this release because it was not English-friendly but looked very interesting. Unfortunately, Metrodome Video have not included any supplemental features.
The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray - July 20, 2011
British distributors Metrodome Video are set to release on Blu-ray Han Sanping and Huang Jianxin's The Founding of a Republic (2009). The film, which was shot to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party founding of China, boasts an impressive ...
The Founding of a Republic Blu-ray Screenshots
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