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[ATV drama] Thoughts on Fatherland I, II, and III <<大地恩情>>

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发表于 2010-6-14 05:53:44 |显示全部楼层
Recently I just finished watching Fatherland 1,2, and 3. The version I purchased was the US version (Region 1 DVD) and it was not the uncut version.  For example, Damian's section of the story (Part 2 - Radical City) was cut down from 22 episodes to 15. :'(  The quality of the video is alright for the most part.  I think the darker scenes could use some remastering touches. The packaging is similar to "Condor in September" and "Swordsman Li Bai" except that the outer box is thicker and harder (pictures attached below).  I don't like or dislike the packaging however I thought that the DVD set was expensive for a non-uncut version of the series.  It was $80 US which is about $600 HKD (I checked the price today and the price went down a bit).  Additionally, there is no English subtitle only Traditional Chinese and the disc numbering is off (on the cover it says episodes 9-15 when it is actually 8-12).

The series consists of 3 stories: "Home on the Pearl River(Part 1)", "Radical City (Part 2)", and "American Dream (Part 3)."  Even though the stories are related with each other, I find that Part 2 of the series can be watched without any knowledge of Part 1 and 3.  Part 1 and 3 of the series were more connected together and it felt more like one continuous storyline rather than separate.

Here is a brief summary of each story:

Part 1: "Home on the Pearl River"
This part of the story showed the challenges of various people (farmers, governor, teacher, etc) in a village. It showed how the they face the harsh conditions of Mother nature (droughts, flooding, etc), how gossip can become the truth, how they felt about Christianity, and their views regarding the change of government from kings to presidents.  Everyone thought that Christianity was evil especially the Chinese teachers and shaman. The people's views of change in government were interesting as the series explained that not many people understood the purpose of change and their views on cutting off their pony tails. Many of the peasants didn't care what government gave what benefits but were more concerned about living a peaceful life with their love ones and to have accessible food and shelter. For those who did care about supporting the new government, it showed what happened to them when they were caught and why they felt that change in government for the people was important.

Part 2: "Radical City"
At this point of the story, the new government has been recently established.  The setting of the story shifts from village life to major cities so there was a lot less gossip and more strategic logic decision making.  The main focuses were on college students' views on Japanese interest in China and the conflicts of 2 different sides of the newly established government. One side of the government was selfish and were only in politics for their own benefit while the other side was in it for the people and the future well being of China. It also showed how student raiding activities affected local retailers and their lives. The story also explained the freedom of romance and how much of a social status it was to be a college student.

Part 3: "American Dream"
This part of the story picks up from where Part 1 left off, but the storyline takes place after what happens in Part 2 (doesn't mean you have to watch Part 2 to understand what happened). The setting consistently shifts back and forth between those who went to the United States and those who lived in the villages in China.  The story mainly concentrates on harsh life of those in the States (racism, prejudice, inability to speak the language, etc), how they missed their families, and how their family missed them.  It also mentions the feeling of those in the States not being able to return their home in China and how they accepted the fathers listed on their fake birth certificates and the dilemma of having 2 wives - one back in China and the other in the States.

Overall, I think the writers and the cast did a great job.  I find that the general story was very believable and it showed the life during those times of China very well (seems like the producers and writers did their research). The casts display the simple minds of the peasants and the boiling blood of the students against Japanese invasion very well. At times, the peasants' logic and their decision making process annoyed me. They made decisions based upon what they think they saw. They also believed what they heard from pure gossip.  Other times, I felt very touched because people helped each other out simply because they were Chinese or they lived in the same village together. I also felt kinda odd not to see Damian and Michelle together in Part 2 but in a way it was also refreshing. Sometimes the plot was slow moving but it was not horrible.  There were several exciting scenes throughout the storyline.  The theme songs were very addicting, touching, and meaningful. 

Since I saw "In the Chamber of Bliss" not too long ago before seeing "Fatherland", I feel that I have gotten a partial history lesson of China during the early 20th century.  "In the Chamber of Bliss" gave me a brief political view of what went on with the 2 armies and "Fatherland" provided me with a sense of how people's lives were affected and how they viewed the changes in government. The series might of been in some ways to be pro Chinese as it didn't show anything nice about the Americans in Part 3. However, I did not live at that time so I am unable to say how pro Chinese the series was and not. I do feel that what the series did was fine as it was meant to show the life of Chinese during those times and it hard to cover every aspect in such an important time in the history of China.

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发表于 2010-6-14 09:36:47 |显示全部楼层
怎么看松哥都是很帅
看见某人笑能让我快乐。看见某人能把我放倒。
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发表于 2010-6-14 12:02:55 |显示全部楼层
Yes, Part 1,2,3 are actually unrealated, though some actors were involved in more than one part.

I'm surprised the US version packaged all 3 into 1.
The one I got was separate. And yes! I got the the uncut version, :[83]hehe
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发表于 2010-6-14 21:16:13 |显示全部楼层
Thanks Awm for the detailed synopsis.
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发表于 2010-6-14 23:48:09 |显示全部楼层
无限乃某人: 怎么看松哥都是很帅


Sorry, I can't read and write Chinese. So I used a translator.  The translator gave me this in English "How to see Song Ge is handsome?"  So I was wondering are you having a hard time seeing the images?  Thank you.


Sharon: Yes, Part 1,2,3 are actually unrealated, though some actors were involved in more than one part.

I'm surprised the US version packaged all 3 into 1.
The one I got was separate. And yes! I got the the uncut version, hehe


Yeah the only version available that I can get is the version I got above.  I tried looking for your version and I found it but YesAsia and other retailers don't ship it to the States.  :'(  I also tried ebay and no luck.  :'( 


Penny: Thanks Awm for the detailed synopsis.


You're welcome! My pleasure.  Next time, I tried to upload clips and stuff too, but I have to figure out how to cut the video and maybe how to add English subtitles to it first.  It will make it a lot easier to explain which scenes were my favorite.


[ Last edited by aznawm at 2010-6-14 12:42 ]
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发表于 2010-7-23 11:09:29 |显示全部楼层
If i remember correctly the Fatherland was not broadcast in mainland china except Guangdong Province. My husband is a Cantonese. He said the series is always his favorite. The theme song is so impressive that he is touched on hearing it every time.
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发表于 2010-7-24 05:42:56 |显示全部楼层
Original posted by 丁香 at 2010-7-22 10:09 PM If i remember correctly the Fatherland was not broadcast in mainland china except Guangdong Province. My husband is a Cantonese. He said the series is always his favorite. The theme song is so impr ...


Interesting...I didn't know that the series wasn't broadcast in Mainland China.  Thank you for sharing!
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发表于 2012-4-7 09:07:32 |显示全部楼层
Just found this out. Thank you for sharing the information on the series of Fatherland, Angela. I am still debating if I should get this version or not. So this is not an uncut version. That is a little disappointing. I wonder why they did not release the full version. The good news is that they have cut down the price significantly since 2010. So maybe it is time to place an order. I just do not want it to be out of print again. Look at what happened to the dvd version of Chronicles of the Shadow Swordsman. And I just noticed that the dvd of Poetic Sword Li Pai is out of stock! I'd better hurry up this time.

I am always interested in the early years of the republican era in modern Chinese history. Luckily Damian seems to be involved in several series dealing with the turbulent period. His characters during this period are so exquisite and charming as always.

Again, Thank you for sharing the information.
[ Last edited by 小猴 at 2012-4-7 11:32 ]
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发表于 2012-4-7 11:07:37 |显示全部楼层
Original posted by 小猴 at 2012-4-6 08:07 PM. Just found this out. Thank you for sharing the information on the series of Fatherland, Angela. I am still debating if I should get this version or not. So this is not an uncut version. That is a little disappointing. I wonder why they did not release the full version. The good news is that they have cut down the price significantly since 2010. So maybe it is time to place an order. I just do not want it to be out of reprint again. Look at what happened to the dvd version of Chronicles of the Shadow Swordsman. And I just noticed that the dvd of Poetic Sword Li Pai is out of stock! I'd better hurry up this time.


You're welcome.

I was disappointed to find out that this was the uncut version.  I think they sell Damian's part of the story separately too but I have no clue whether that is uncut or not. 

I totally feel you when you said "I don't want it to be out of print again."  It has been 3 years and I am still trying to find "Chronicles of the Shadow Swordsman."  I want to see that series in Cantonese so much!!!  Oh, I didn't know that "Poetic Sword Li Pai" dvd is out of print.  I think I should also go see what is available and pick it up too.  Thank you for your advice! Good luck on getting the items!

Original posted by 小猴 at 2012-4-6 08:07 PM
I am always interested in the early years of the republican era in modern Chinese history. Luckily Damian seems to be involved in several series dealing with the turbulent period. His characters during this period are so exquisite and charming as always.


You said this beautifully! :[e038]:  I enjoyed Damian's republican era series a lot and his interpretations of the characters are awesome.  I am looking forward to his new series,"Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles", that is also set around this same time!  :[e007]:

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发表于 2012-4-7 11:29:39 |显示全部楼层
you gals are right! Poetic Li Bai is out of print already! that's quick. I was browsing yesasia last month and it was still there
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