Reviews from a wide range of journalists are raving about Jerusalem, a 45-minute large-format movie distributed by National Geographic with an impressive array of partners involved in the production. Just how wide is this range of reviews? In Washington D.C., for example, both the mainstream Washington Post and the famously conservative Washington Times praised the film and urged readers to go see it.
The film’s official website has more information, including listings of regional screenings. Or, you may prefer to read the Wikipedia overview of the film first.
The film’s major strength is that this crew was given access to film in many areas usually barred to such media projects. Given the IMAX-scale production that mainly means the cameras could be strapped to helicopters that flew over and around some of the world’s most sacred landmarks. You simply won’t see these eye-popping vistas anywhere else.
The voice narrating the film now is familiar to millions of viewers worldwide: Benedict Cumberbach, the BBC’s newest Sherlock Holmes and also a co-star in movies from 12 Years a Slave to parts of the Star Trek and Hobbit movie series.
The filmmakers’ own explanation of this project is a fair summary of what you’ll see, if you attend a showing: “Our film is not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It embraces the idea that Jerusalem is many cities: imagined and real; past and present; Jewish, Christian, Muslim and secular. We are trying to answer the question: Why Jerusalem? What is it about this tiny space that made it the ultimate prize of empires and the object of longing for so many different cultures over thousands of years?”
YOU SHOULD SEE a video screen below. Click to view a 7-minute preview. (And, yes, it’s worth all 7 minutes!) If you don’t see a screen here, try clicking this story’s headline to reload the page, which should properly display the video screen.