Frontline World

EUROPE: The Re-Orient Express, September 2004
a FRONTLINE/World Fellows project

Marton Dunai

Marton Dunai is a Hungarian reporter who recently completed his studies at U.C. Berkeley's graduate school of journalism. He currently lives and works in his native Budapest, Hungary.
Launched in 1883 and officially christened in 1891, the Orient Express became the world's most famous train, transporting passengers between Paris and Istanbul. In its heyday in the 1930s, the luxury train took three nights to cross Europe and arrive at the gateway to the Middle East -- a journey that inspired romance, intrigue and Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. Though some "nostalgia" trains still bear the fabled name, the original Orient Express stopped running in 1977. FRONTLINE/World Fellow Marton Dunai, a Hungarian, decided to retrace the route, from Turkey to France, on a series of modern trains, in search of the "new" Europe.

"I was born in Communist Europe," says the 28-year-old Dunai, "raised in post-Communist Hungary, and although I never emigrated, now I find myself living in the European Union."

The rapid changes in Europe have been invigorating, but also discombobulating. Some, like Donald Rumsfeld, have politicized the very terms "new Europe" and "old Europe" -- designating European nations that supported the U.S. war in Iraq as "new Europe" and those that did not as "old Europe." But in his journey, Dunai finds a Europe that is becoming an ever tighter community, independent of the United States, with surprising cross-currents and fault lines.

"There are no easy categories," says Dunai. "Come see it for yourself."


Read a discussion with FRONTLINE/World Fellow Marton Dunai on as he discusses his journey by train across Europe.

Producer: Angela Morgenstern; Designed by: Susan Harris, Fluent Studios; see full web credits.

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printable version of "EUROPE: The Re-Orient Express"

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Part of the Web-exclusive FRONTLINE/World Fellowship program. FRONTLINE/World is exploring partnerships with some of the leading graduate schools of journalism around the United States with the goal of identifying and developing the best of an emerging generation of journalists. The FRONTLINE/World Fellowship program is supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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