What Is Red May Never Die: TV Show Resurrects Revolutionaries

The five-part series titled “Choice” is among several audio-visual productions to pay tribute to the Communist Party of China.

Some of China’s dead revolutionary heroes have seemingly sprung back to life.

Or at least that’s what viewers were meant to believe when several political and historical figures, including Mao Zedong, Li Dazhao, and Liang Qichao, appeared on the television show “Choice” in the form of computer generated imagery. The show, which screened on state-run Hunan TV, paid tribute to the people who helped found the People’s Republic of China, as the country marked the centennial of the Communist Party of China last week.

In the five-part series, many famous faces appeared — literally, as the visual trickery was confined just to their portraits — to recite a selection of their published works. Producers of the show used augmented reality and extended reality — technologies that combine reality with virtual effects — to dub voices to the revolutionary heroes’ moving lips to make it appear as if they were directly addressing the audience.

“Autocrats and warlords shall not concede unless the people overthrow them … We shall unite the power of people in order to practice the proletarian revolution in China,” Mao’s portrait announced, a passage intended to stoke the determination of early party members.

Hunan TV is one of China’s largest state-run television networks and has produced several shows centered around the party centenary, including talk shows and documentaries such as “Socialism is Kinda Cool” and “Decoding 70 years of PRC,” respectively. Mostly targeted toward the younger audience, “Choice” has been viewed over 3 million times on the network’s website as of Monday, while the clip in “conversation” with Mao has been reposted more than 10 million times on multiple social media platforms, according to Hunan TV. Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.