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Journey Along the Silk Road
Journey Along the Silk Road
Actor: Paul Pelliot
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary, Animation
NR     2005     2hr 0min

All are familiar with the famous Silk Road, but few know of French scholar Paul Pelliot?s discovery of a second route nearly 100 years ago. For the first time ever, foreign cameras retrace the route discovered by Pelliot b...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actor: Paul Pelliot
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary, Animation
Studio: Tokyo Shock
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/08/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Fine, but not as smooth as silk
M. Ronteltap | Leiden, The Netherlands | 09/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, I do not know what the editors were doing while watching this documentary (if they watched it all), but this sure is NOT about a new silk road, or Jacques Pelliot or anything like that! So please, just forget about the editorial review and read this review instead.

When purchasing this DVD I was expecting to buy a documentary that would give an historical account of the Silk Road. However, this Japanese documentary actually turned out to be more like a travel log of a Japanese actor, Ken Ogata, who made a big journey from Beijing to Istanbul.

I was initially disappointed to find out that this documentary was not what I was looking for, but what it turned out to be was also rather enjoyable to watch. What is nice about watching a travel log like this is that you feel like you're traveling a bit yourself. You see how hard the trip can get, being exposed to heat (60 degrees Celcius!), cold (-30 degrees Celcius!), and having to travel huge distances, while in the meantime you are being inspired by everything you see around you.

Ken Ogata makes a journey by train and on foot starting in Beijing following the Great Wall, continuing west into the Uygur region, then to Kyrgyzstan (Ysyk-Köl Lake), then to Uzbekistan (Toshkent, Samarqand, Bukhara), then to Turkmenistan (Ashkhabad), then to Iran (Mashhad, Teheran, Esfahan, Yazd), and finally to Turkey (Kurdish region, Ankara castle, Ankara, Bursa and Istanbul).

Along the way, he makes some interesting encounters with the local inhabitants. Particularly interesting were his stay at a rural family in Kyrgyzstan and his encounter with the Zoroastrians, a small religious monority living in Yazd (Iran).

What is a review without negative comments? One negative point I have to make about this documentary is the editing, e.g. I really do not need to see how Ken Ogata climbs a wall for 30 seconds! Also the editing in the start of the movie is quite annoying.

In the end, I guess I am pleased to have bought this documentary.

Grade: 7/10"
So-so Silk Road
Campbell J. Ford | Moss Vale, NSW, Australia | 10/10/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Like the other reviewer, I was expecting far more from this DVD than I got. The visuals are good, but there is too much of Ken Ogata and too little of the fabulous towns and cities of the Silk Road. What ever happened to Samarkand and Istanbul?
Indeed, the whole video would benefit by being edited down by half an hour. Overlong sequences of Ken trudging along railway tracks and desert skylines for the benefit of the camera become boring after a while, and a detailed closeup of Ken eating a lemon in elaborate detail is a definite turnoff.
Either buy the original 30 part TV series on eBay from China, or wait for the proposed new Yo Yo Ma TV musical journey along the Silk Road."
Slice of life along the silk road
Ellen | Florida United States | 04/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I read the two reviews below, laughed and decided this imperfect video was right for me. I'd rather watch wall climbing and lemon eating and than a polished tourist sites video.

The film transports you to a train station where Chinese police clamp down on the photographer, street life in Tashkent, crowds of vendors pushing onto a train, call to prayer train stops, locals laughing, bartering, befriending the traveler. While the images and meanings aren't fully developed, they slip by as they might in a real trip.

Ken is occasionally undiplomatic and the video sometimes silly. He drinks 2 cent yogurt from the vendors cup, but never tells us the effect on his gut. WHY would you start this trip in the winter in the north and head to the southern deserts for summer? And yes it needs editing, esp. at the beginning which is disorganized and has some camera shake, and at the end which needs a new text.

If you love the silk road and want a learned and accessible tale of travel, read Colin Thubron. But this video too is useful, a pleasant inexpensive way to catch glimpses of central Asia. We loved it."