Friday, July 22, 2011

Jerusalem sparkles at heart of new documentary

It’s Friday, time for another posting of Interesting Jewish Stories & Facts. So let’s go to the movies.

Israel is often viewed through a fractured lens, a public relations mess of conflict, religion, politics and gloom. Add to this dark stew the misinformed belief that the Jewish homeland is a desert wasteland, fit only for scorpions, camels and the heartiest of Bedouin tribesmen, and you have the makings of a cosmic nightmare.

It seems each time a bit of light reveals the delights of this ancient land that dark forces conspire to hide the truths of the place. Trepidation often hangs heavily on the horizon, tossing a bleak shadow across the beauty of the country and its people.

I mention all this to capture the importance of a new documentary about Jerusalem, an IMAX film that has the potential to push aside the clouds – if only for a moment. The movie, produced by Arcane/Cosmic Picture Film, is scheduled for release in 2013.

I stumbled across the opening minutes of the production recently. It’s a euphonic blend of music, narration and splendid aerial shots focusing on the beauty of the land and its rich and ancient mysteries. You can find it right HERE! Take a few minutes; you won’t be disappointed!

I’ve been lucky enough to visit much that is featured – the ancient port cities of Jaffa and Caesarea; the lush and fertile Jordan Valley and spiritually rich area of the Galilee; Masada and the Dead Sea. These iconic locations serve only as preamble, picturesque settings all leading in the same direction.

Jerusalem, the City of David, springs to life in the heart of Israel, a magnet for pilgrims and tourists, the faithful and doubters. Its sun-bleached buildings, cobblestone streets and serpentine alleys are filled with spiritual energy and ancient secrets.

The film, even on the smallish screen of my computer, offers up a colorful and epic portrait. All the noise and chatter from ill-informed and misguided protesters, weak-kneed politicians and venomous religious leaders is quieted. For a moment, Jerusalem stands and speaks for itself. It’s a glorious site.

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