Producer: Along Mekong Productions 

Produced: 2011      Format: HD

Five films accompany a travel writer on a mission: Bradley Mayhew, 40, a senior writer for Lonely Planet Publications re-travels the Silk Road on the tracks of its most well-known voyager: the mediaeval traveler and writer Marco Polo.

What happens if one re-travels Marco Polo’s journey today, 750 years later, 8.000 kilometers overland, by truck, train or hitch-hiking, covering the ancient trade route on its entire length from Venice to Beijing? A sense of curiosity and discovery pervade Bradley’s travels and the films. Bradley passes oriental cities, travels through inhospitable mountain ranges and forbidding deserts. He wanders bazaars and hops shabby bars, he marvels at palaces and kills time at dusty truck stops. Everywhere he meets people on the road and shares their stories, some of which Marco Polo had already written about – crude oil, terrorism, globalization. Five road movie style-documentaries reimagine the past and reveal today’s reality, in countries as diverse as Turkey, Israel, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, the Central Asian republics and China. Travelling the Silk Road today is every bit as exciting and adventurous as it was in Marco Polo’s time.

Languages: English, German, French 

Broadcaster: arte / SWR