The New Plastic RoadA documentary film by Angelos Tsaousis and Myrto Papadopoulos

Τhe highway’s construction in the course of the twentieth century led not only to a physical, but also a social transformation of the region. Labor migration of Ismaili Tajiks to various settlements along the road resulted in ethnically and confessionally mixed communities.Till Mostowlansky, Paving the Way: Ismaili Genealogy and Mobility along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway, 2011


Davlat is a Tajik merchandiser and a humble father of three children. A well respected businessman in the Pamir area, a mountainous region southeast of Tajikistan in the borders with China. His life has been transformed since the opening of the Tajik-Chinese border and the reconstruction of the old Silk Road. A road full of surprises and new experiences for Davlat and his family.

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.



Angelos Tsaousis

Producer & Director

Being a creative producer, I have always believed that social impact through the use of storytelling is an effective tool that under the current situation has become urgent and integral part of every visual thinker and storyteller.

Myrto Papadopoulos

DoP & Director

Working on long-form narratives investigating Documentary Photography and the limits of the medium itself, pushing the traditional boundaries I seek to construct a new language with my visual narratives, experimenting with new tools and cross media.






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