Saturday, 8 October 2011

Marco Polo Reloaded (2)

Marco Polo Reloaded re-travels the Silk Road on the tracks of its most well-known voyager: the mediaeval traveler and writer Marco Polo. Five road movie style-documentaries imagine the past and show today’s reality, in countries like Turkey, Israel, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republics and China. The five films accompany a travel writer on a mission. Bradley Mayhew, 39, married, born in England, living in the US, a senior writer for Lonely Planet Publications. He is researching a book on the Silk Road and its legendary voyager. The films show what is happening if one re-travels Marco Polo’s journey again, 700 years after him, his book in mind (“reloaded”), overland, by means of local transport, covering the ancient trade-route on its entire length from Venice to Beijing.

Marco Polo Reloaded shows Bradley “at work”. He researches, takes notes and pictures, he collects content and experiences. Curiosity and discovery is the attitude of Bradley and the films: see what comes. He travels with busses, trucks, trains, through oriental cities, inhospitable mountains and forbidding deserts. With Bradley we wander bazaars and hop dirty bars, we marvel at palaces and wait at dusty train stations. With Bradley we meet people on the road. And share their stories. Some of them already Marco Polo had written about – and they are still burning today.
Some cities, Marco Polo passed through 700 years ago, do no longer exist, others have been ultimately altered by modernity, again others still breathe the Orient. Today as in Polo’s times some areas are off-limits, dangerous, ridden by crisis or war and the traveler is forced detours. Travelling the Silk Road today is as exciting and adventurous as it was in Marco Polo’s time.
5 films of 43’00, HD, stereo.

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