fernOST - Turkmenistan: ein Volksfest für den Staatsgründer Turkmenbaschi; Quelle: rbb/Gregor Sawatzki/Ingo Aurich

A film by Johannes Unger and Natalie Amiri - Through Iran and Turkmenistan (2/10)

From Lake Urmia, to Teheran, the vibrant metropolis of Persia, then all the way to Uzbekistan. What used to be the most significant trading road is still recognizable: the silk road that connected Asia and Europe centuries ago.

What does the captain of an excursion steamer do when his lake vanishes more and more and how does a hotelier feel when the bathers fail to appear. Lake Urmia in the west of Iran is rapidly becoming salty.

The farEAST TV-team traverses this ecological disaster zone until it reaches Tabriz, a city that is known for its Persian carpets. Carpets can be found in abundance on the great bazaar and the team meets a man without whom there would be no trade at all: the tea carrier, the soul of the market place. Without tea, there is no business! An encounter in Teheran: a fashion designer whose creations challenge the moral guardian's low level of tolerance. In the mountains of Neyshabour, the farEAST-team goes on a treasure hunt.

The administration in Turkmenistan, an isolated country in Central Asia, seems to be afraid of western television crews and will not allow the filming of any images, other than those from a pro-government mega event and Turkmen horses. From Turkmenistan, with its authoritarian style of government, to Uzbekistan, the team travels through the Karakum - the black desert - on the historic silk road.