New Plastic Road
Trailer on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/121016391
The New Plastic Road is a character-driven documentary film that reveals the gradual economic and social change underway in the remote, destitute communities within the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region east of Tajikistan in the Pamir Mountains. The catalyst of this change lies behind China’s decision to open its border with Tajikistan in 2004. This decision was followed by an ongoing attempt to resurrect the old Silk Road, connecting the region with the rest of the world for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union. This is part of the same network of roads that in ancient times contributed to the development of civilization (China, India, Persia, Arabia, Europe), affecting not just the local communities along the road but also the “global community” of the time. Today, part of this revitalized road network is affecting the global market, sparking an evolution of industry and commercial development – and to an extent our daily lives. To help us better understand these changes, the documentary follows Davlat, a Tajik merchandiser who lives in the mountainous town of Khorog (the Badakhshan capital in Southeastern Tajikistan) next to the Afghanistan border. As we are drawn into his world of work, family, and trade we come to understand that the (silk) road on which he depends to make a living is a unique character in itself, connecting him – and us – with people, stories, and a new hope for posterity.