4K restoration of Chinese film ‘My 1919’ released in honor of ‘May 4 spirit’
Published: May 04, 2022 06:58 PM
Promotional material of My 1919 Photo: Courtesy of Youku

Promotional material of My 1919 Photo: Courtesy of Youku

 New 4K restorations of films about China's Youth Day, which falls on May 4, such as My 1919 and My Early Days in France were released on Chinese streaming platform Youku on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) as well as the patriotic youth movement that began 103 years ago - the May Fourth Movement. 

According to a press release from Youku on Wednesday, the restorations have won big applause on Chinese social media as many netizens commented that they were very excited to re-watch the classic film My 1919 in order to pay tribute to the "May Fourth spirit."

My 1919, starring veteran actor Chen Daoming, tells the story of Chinese diplomat V.K. Wellington Koo, a member of the Chinese delegation to the Versailles Conference in France. He gave an eloquent speech at the meeting, refuting the unreasonable demands of Japan and demanding the return of the territory in East China's Shandong Province that Japan had seized from Germany during World War I.

A Youku representative told the Global Times that the company wanted to contribute to the protection of classic film and television works by producing the 4K restoration while also paying tribute to the May Fourth Movement and the young people who worked hard to contribute to society.

Besides the domestic film, some classic foreign language films are also streaming 4k restoration versions such as Forrest Gump and The Chorus, about young people pursing their dreams.

Most of these restored film and television works were shot on movies made more than a decade or two ago, leading to noise, scratches and even fading to appear on screen. Thanks to the AI repair technology, self-supervised models and high-definition face repair models, audiences can now see the details of the characters on screen with high clarity.

More importantly, compared with manual restoration, digital restoration only takes six times the length of the movie to complete, which means that a two-hour-long movie can be restored in 12 hours, according to the press release.