Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Jerusalem": new Imax 3D film from NatGeo simulates a real trip

The 45-minute National Geographic Imax 3-D film “Jerusalem” gives the viewer a chance to make a virtual trip to the city, at little expense and risk.
The film, by Daniel Ferguson, pays little heed to the political control of the city, which has changed (particularly after the 1967 war), but it does show the co-existence of Christian, Jewish and Muslim culture and religion, even within the walled Old City, which houses the Temple Mount and Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Asqa Mosque. 
The film, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, often places us on the narrow crowded streets, talking to archeology students of varied faith.  
The film sometimes shows the entire city, on top of a plateau at 2500 feet, from a distance, and ventures into surrounding areas, showing the Sea of Galilee, and old Roman settlements on the Mediterranean, Massada, and a Christian monastery built into many levels in a canyon wall. (This monastery may be St. Catherine's, shown in Christiane Amanpour's CNN series "Back to the Beginning". 
The film also reconstructs what the previous Temple Mount before the birth of Christ looked like.
Jerusalem, over its history, underwent many sieges and destructions and was even abandoned, even forgotten, during some of the period of Babylonian captivity.

The official site is here

Wikipedia attribution link for Old City picture, link

I saw the film in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Anthony Bourdain, in his "Parts Unknown" series for CNN, had reported on Jerusalem (and the endire Gaza and West Bank problem), reviewed on the TV blog Sept. 15, 2013.

On December 3, 2013, the Washington Post ran a story by William Booth and Ruth Eglash, "At Temple Mount, dreams of prayer raise fears of violence", link here.  Online, the story title is "Jewish activists want to pray on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, raising fears in the Muslim World".  You have to click on the "graphic" embedded in the article, and then you can zoom on the artwork and see the details of the construction on the Temple Mount, along with all the history, matching that in the film.

For another "short film", see my main blog today for "Why Care About the NSA" by Brian Knappenberger of the New York Times.  

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