2008   USA People's Republic of Capitalism
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IMDb Rating:8.3 (6 votes)
  ...  (Director)
  ...  (Writer)
Ted Koppel  ...  Himself
Comments: Part 1: Joined at the Hip
"The U.S. would have an easier time disentangling itself from Germany or France than from the Chinese,” says Ted Koppel. “You have to wonder how either country would get along without the other.” Perhaps this is why US leaders expect to get away with so much international aggression - by buying China's consent.

Part 2: From MAO-ism to ME-ism
Most Americans have never heard of Chongqing, a mega-city in western China positively exploding with growth, or the Chinese's favorite pressure valve, the "KTV". The economic boom in Chongqing has shaken traditional values and culture with far-reaching effects on religion and politics, while KTV nightclubs - and gay establishments, too - are flourishing.

Part 3: The Fast Lane
The Chinese government expects the automotive industry to transform the country both economically and socially, but adding 9 million cars to the road every year is changing China in other ways as well, sometimes not so positively. At the same time, Chinese automakers are beginning to eye the US market.

Part 4: It's the Economy, Stupid
Inevitably, stoking China's white-hot economy means getting dirty - from coal mines, to pollution-spewing power plants, to bribes demanded by corrupt officials. While wholeheartedly embracing free market influences, China is able to resist free-thinking politics. Find out how in this final episode.

Summary: In this in-depth four-part documentary, Ted Koppel examines China's new status as an economic superpower and its complex relationship with the United States. He focuses on Chongqing–a city in Sichuan Province with a burgeoning population and big plans for the future. While peasants in outlying areas eke out a meager living, the rising middle class revels in new riches, challenging traditional ideas about religion, sexuality, and consumerism. All this reverberates here in America, where companies scramble for cheap labor, workers find jobs shipped overseas, and shoppers snap up Chinese-made goods at big box retailers.

A year in the making, The People's Republic of Capitalism shows China's extraordinary changes through the eyes of its industrialists, assembly line workers, coal miners, taxi drivers, and farmers. Along the way, it provides surprising perspectives on a country fast becoming America's greatest economic rival and biggest business partner.

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